Matteo Arpe’s Sator Fund Makes First Deal

MILAN (Reuters) – Italian banker Matteo Arpe’s Sator private equity fund has struck its first deal, taking a 40 percent stake in Baglioni Hotels with an investment of 30 million euros ($43.52 million), Sator said on Friday.

Arpe quit as chief executive of Capitalia last year when the bank was sold by his chairman, Cesare Geronzi, to UniCredit (CRDI.MI), creating Italy’s biggest lender by market value.

He set up Sator in November 2007.

In a statement, Sator said it would be involved in Baglioni Hotels’ business plans, which target an eventual stock market listing.

The group will continue to be led by the family of founder Roberto Polito and keep the existing management team. Arpe will join the board.

His private equity fund will also be involved in plans to double the network of boutique hotels and debut in the Middle East, Asia, the United States and Russia, the statement said.

Baglioni Hotels have 14 hotels in Italy, France and Britain. It promotes its Luna Hotel in Venice as the lagoon city’s oldest, and a suite there with a view of the lagoon can cost 1,800 euros a night.

It also owns Le Saint Paul hotel in Saint-Paul-de-Vence, a French village which inspired artists including Henri Matisse and Pablo Picasso.

Sator’s statement said Baglioni Hotels has already secured agreements to manage luxury hotels in Dubai, Budapest and Marrakesh, Morocco, and is about to conclude deals in Mumbai and Sri Lanka.

(Reporting by Jo Winterbottom; Editing by Greg Mahlich)