Intesa Sanpaolo to sell €150m PE arm

The listed Italian bank is selling its assets to increase its focus on traditional banking.

Listed Italian bank Intesa Sanpaolo is expected to sell its €150 million private equity arm to focus its activity on traditional banking, multiple sources told Secondaries Investor.

The private equity unit, Sanpaolo IMI Fondi Chiusi, includes venture capital funds Atlante Ventures, Atlante Ventures Mezzogiorno, Atlante Seed and late-stage fund managers Mezzogiorno, Centro Impresa, Nord Impresa, Atlante Private Equity.

The sale is expected to start during the first quarter of 2015, as market conditions are currently favourable to sellers, according to sources.

Over the next three years, Intesa is trying to sell €1.9 billion worth of assets that are inconsistent with commercial banking activities, chief executive officer Carlo Messina said earlier this year.

An Intesa Sanpaolo spokesperson declined to comment about the disposal of Sanpaolo Imi Fondi Chiusi, however he reiterated the bank’s three-year business plan, which includes the exit of its private equity activities, prime brokerage arm and all other units that are unrelated to traditional bank business.

Intesa is also reportedly in talks with Neuberger Berman to sell minority stakes in Italian mid-market companies for roughly €300 million. Coller Capital and Stepstone were also interested in the assets, but are no longer bidders, according to sources. Both firms declined to comment.

Reporting by Salvatore Bruno