Insights from the 2023 Italian Private Equity & Venture Capital Breakfast, hosted by Pedersen & Partners and CMS

On 3rd of October, 2023, Pedersen & Partners, together with CMS, hosted the annual Italian Private Equity & Venture Capital Breakfast. The event was a rich exchange of insights on Private Equity and Venture Capital market trends, prospects, and critical issues in valuation, deal origination, and portfolio enhancement.

Insights from the 2023 Italian Private Equity & Venture Capital Breakfast, hosted by Pedersen & Partners and CMS

The event was moderated by Bruno Pastore, Client Partner, Country Manager for Italy at Pedersen & Partners, and Paolo Scarduelli, Partner at CMS, and had the following professionals as experts:

  • Marzia Bartolomei Corsi – Senior Partner, Fondo Italiano d'Investimento SGR
  • Marco Carotenuto – Managing Director and Board Member, Clessidra Private Equity
  • Giuseppe Donvito – Partner, P101 Venture
  • Valentina Franceschini – Senior Partner, Wise Equity SGR
  • Andrea Mazzucato – Managing Partner, 21 Invest
  • Giorgio Mercogliano – Managing Partner, Equinox
  • Francesco Orsi, Managing Director, Eurazeo
  • Fausto Rinallo – Founding Partner, Ethica Group
  • Mauro Roversi – Founding Partner and Chief Investment Officer, Ambienta

Here are the main takeaways:

  • Italian Market Resilience: The Italian market has trended more positively than the European market in 2022-23. Contributing factors include the predominance of the primary market over the secondary market, an increased openness of entrepreneurs to engage with PE firms, and generational transitions within businesses.
  • Diversity in European Markets: For example, the French market is noted for its maturity and transactional nature, while the German market shows complexities and a strong domestic focus.
  • Environmental, Social, and Governance & Sustainability: These principles are the new norm; ESG-compliant companies enjoy a competitive advantage, and sustainability is now recognised as a driver of company growth.
  • Fundraising Challenges and Opportunities: Fundraising in 2023 has become more challenging, with limited partners (LPs) demanding higher returns and a stronger fund track record. However, opportunities are emerging as alternative LPs such as Family Offices, Pension Funds, and Insurance Companies become more active. International LPs are also showing a growing interest in the Italian market.
  • Venture Capital Market in Italy: Fewer Italian VC investments are observed, compared to mature global and European markets such as France, with government support primarily directed towards Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) rather than startups.
  • Opportunities for Venture Capital and Private Equity Markets: Increased government support, cross-collaborations between PEs and VCs, and internationalisation are identified as winning strategies for startups and SMEs.
  • Trends in Deal Sourcing: Entrepreneurs are taking a more active role in discussions with Private Equity firms. PE investments are seen as drivers for company growth, and managers are increasingly crucial to the deal origination and company growth. Competition for quality companies is rising, and there may be valuation mismatches between entrepreneurs and buyers. On top of that, a focus on additional deals in the same industry is growing, due to increased market knowledge.
  • Private Equity vs IPO: Private Equity firms are considered the preferred choice for fostering company growth. As well as capital, they offer expertise and a managerial culture that contributes to long-term success.
  • Private Equity Portfolio Trends: PE portfolios are holding excellent companies for longer periods, waiting for the right offers, and continuing value creation. M&A activities are being used strategically to create value, focusing on synergies within the portfolio companies. Integration and effective management are seen as crucial elements in value creation.

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