Italy’s Wisequity IV hits 215 mln euro cap with new U.S. LPs

Firm: Wise SGR

Fund: Wisequity IV

Hard Cap: 215 mln euros ($220.3 mln)

Amount raised:  215 mln euros ($220.3 mln)

Placement Agent: Rede Partners

Law firm: Proskauer, international legal counsel

Wise SGR drew commitments from limited partners in the U.S. for the first time as the Milan-based buyout firm in less than six months wrapped up fundraising for Wisequity IV at its hard cap of 215 million euros ($239 million), according to a filing and an executive at the firm.

While the firm invests 15 million to 25 million euros in lower-middle-market Italian businesses, it may continue to do add-on deals in the U.S. since many of its companies have an international footprint.

“In the past, our portfolio companies have acquired small businesses in the USA and might do that in the future,” Michele Semenzato, founding partner, said in an email to Buyouts.

All told, U.S. and European investors comprised 60 percent of Wisequity IV commitments, followed by 25 percent from Italy and the remainder from management at the firm and high-net-worth individuals.

The rapid fundraising comes after Wisequity III, the firm’s 2011 fund, drew in 181.5 million euros ($202 million) and generated a 4.5x gross return as of December, according to the firm.

Prior to launching Wise SGR in 2000, Semenzato worked at ABN Amro and Bain & Co in Milan. He earned an MBA from University of California, Berkeley, in 1993.

Paolo Gambarini, founding partner, previously worked at Credit Suisse First Boston in Milan and London, as well as at Smith New Court in London. The firm’s third partner, Fabrizio Medea, joined the firm in 2000 after working at Bain & Co and Andersen Consulting.

Among its recent deals, Wise SGR in December paid an undisclosed amount for Il Gruppo Controls, a construction-testing-equipment company with 135 employees working in Italy, the U.S. and several other countries.

In October, Wise SGR and Alcedo sold a 72 percent stake in JK Group, a digital-printing specialist, to Dover Corp. Among JK Group’s acquisitions was a July 2015 add-on of the industrial unit of U.S.-based Sawgrass Technologies.

The dollar figures above are based on euro-to-dollar conversion rates on March 14.

Action Item: Wise SGR,

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