In the first half of this year, private equity and venture capital funds achieved record figures: the period January-June 2021 was the best in the last five years. According to the data released on 13 September by Aifi, the Italian association that groups them, with Pwc Deals, the collection increased by 194% to 2.9 billion euros compared to the period January-June 2020, while investments have skyrocketed to 4.55 billion – an increase of 142% in one year and more than double compared to five years ago – with 253 transactions (+ 102%). Among the favored segments are the early stage, that is the investment in the start-up phase of the company, with 129 completed transactions, and the buyouts, the acquisitions of majority or totalitarian stakes, with 70 deals.
Protagonists of the century
Private capital will be the protagonist of this century as in the last century the banks and the stock exchange were, so the savings of the Italians conveyed in various ways towards the real economy – said the economist Innocenzo Cipolletta, president of Aifi – . Italy is second to none, the growth in gross domestic product estimated this year at 6% and a + 4% will be needed to reach the levels of 2019, but it will not be difficult to achieve. Our economy needs a reconversion, there is a strong need for transformation because digital technologies have entered the production processes. Businesses need large capital, both to close the debt processes started during the pandemic and for growth, investments, digital transformation and aggregations. It is therefore important to collaborate between the public, as anchor investor, and the private sector so that funds of funds increase the resources available to companies. 10% of the collection in the half year came from the public sector.
Most of the money went to infrastructure with 2 billion invested (44% of the total). The technological sector, industrial goods and services and the medical sector are also affected by the flow of resources. Almost seven out of ten transactions (69%) were concluded with companies in Northern Italy, 21.1% in the Center and only one in ten (9.9%) in the South or in the islands. Divestments increased by 76% to 697 million with 43 exits (30 in the first half of 2020), mostly disposals to industrial entities (39.5% of transactions) or to other private equity funds (32.7%): not c There was no direct debut on the stock market, the rare IPOs were born from spacs, the vehicles for listing companies.
Interest from abroad
We have overcome the criticalities, the first semester was the best of the last five years – said Anna Gervasoni, general manager of Aifi -. There is a lot of interest in our country on the part of European investors who are returning to open offices in Italy or, in Europe, dedicated to Italy. Investments by international operators were 74% of the total (3.4 billion euros), according to Aifi-Pwc data: This shows how private equity can be a very important driving force in attracting foreign investments – said Francesco Giordano, partner of Pwc Deals -. There is a constant growth of operations in the ICT sector, confirming that digitization is a priority issue for the growth of our companies and the country system.