- As an institutional sponsor, UniCredit will invest alongside a select panel of experienced investment managers, taking minority stakes with a long-term view.
- The pool of patient capital supporting the growth of high-quality Italian SME clients could amount up to €2 billion.
UniCredit has today announced the launch of the largest pool of patient growth capital in Italy (up to €2 billion).
Alongside a number of prominent investment managers, the platform represents a pledge to support the growth of high-quality Italian SME clients by providing them with access to an alternative and more flexible source of capital.
SMEs across Europe are the backbone of the economy, particularly in countries such as Italy. Sixty to seventy percent of jobs in Europe are created by or directly-linked to SMEs, representing around sixty percent of the value added in the European economy.
This initiative is dedicated to companies across traditional sectors of Italian excellence - including industrials, aerospace, packaging, technology, pharmaceuticals, design and food & beverage - focusing on clients in need of equity capital to accelerate their medium to long-term expansion plans.
In alignment with standard SME growth strategies, the panel of investors will deploy patient capital by holding minority stakes over a longer time horizon than typical private equity instruments. This will be delivered alongside strategic advisory and business development support.
Commenting on the initiative, Andrea Casini, UniCredit's Co-CEO of Commercial Banking Italy, said: "This initiative targets around 4,500 corporate clients, representing the best-performers of our SME segment. The European Commission's 2018 Innovation Scoreboard reported that two-thirds of Europe's economic growth over the last decade was driven by innovation. Many entrepreneurs are looking for opportunities to innovate in order to grow and internationalise but struggle to find the adequate sources of patient growth capital to support these ambitions. Through this initiative, we are supporting the Italian real economy whilst building strong, lasting relationships with our most promising corporate clients."
Richard Burton, UniCredit's Head of Corporate & Investment Banking, added: "We are fully committed to serving our corporate clients alongside Commercial Banking Italy. Through this initiative, we are confirming our role as a long-term strategic partner in their growth and innovation. This is just one way we create value for our clients - bringing together high-quality companies and potential investors. This initiative will provide strategic and managerial support to our Italian corporate clients, supporting best in class companies over a longer term when it comes to scaling up their business."
The panel of select investment managers will include Italian and international investors, with a strong track record and presence in the Italian market, coupled with the ability and willingness to invest over the longer term - a strategy well suited to targeted companies.
The initiative will be first rolled out in the Italian market, where the need for patient growth capital is most pressing. Similar initiatives will subsequently be rolled out in other geographies, such as Germany and Central and Eastern Europe.
Milan, 6 May, 2019
tel +39 02 88623569