UK trust reveals Banco Popolare spin-out role

F&C Private Equity Trust joined Montana Capital Partners in backing the €33m management buyout of Banco Popolare de Vicenza’s PE business.

A UK private equity trust has revealed its role in backing the spin-out of an Italian bank’s private equity business, a deal first reported by Secondaries Investor in February.

The F&C Private Equity Trust and a number of other funds managed by parent company BMO Global Asset Management backed the acquisition of a portfolio of nine private equity investments sold by Banco Popolare de Vicenza, according to its first quarter results. The assets were rolled into a new vehicle named NEM Impresse III, which is managed by the now independent management team under the name NEM SGR.

The results note that another “specialist” private equity firm also backed the transaction. Secondaries Investor revealed in February that this firm is Montana Capital Partners.

The overall transaction was valued at €33 million with F&C Trust contributing €4.3 million, which represents a discount to fair market value of over 30 percent, the results noted. The investors also contributed additional capital for follow-on investments on a deal by deal basis.

Banca Popolare and sister bank Veneto Banco were put into compulsory liquidation in 2016 by the ministry of economy and finance, at the behest of the Italian central bank, Secondaries Investor reported.

Italy’s largest banking group Intesa Sanpaolo picked up some of the banks’ assets and Banca Popolare’s private equity arm was among those given to liquidators to sell through a competitive process.

NEM is led by Luca Maurizio Duranti who has been with the private equity business since 2011, having been Banca Popolare’s head of structured finance and prior to that its head of corporate finance, according to the firm’s website.

F&C Private Equity Trust had £258.2 million ($346.5 million; €292.7 million) of net asset value as of 31 March, according to its results. It comes under the umbrella of F&C Investments, which celebrated its 150th birthday this year.