Crédit Agricole PE lands first Italian investment

The French bank’s private equity arm has acquired a stake in Italian green energy producer Elettrostudio Energia, investing €5m of equity.

Crédit Agricole Private Equity (CAPE) has acquired a stake of undisclosed size in Elettrostudio Energia, an Italian firm focusing on the production of green energy.

The French bank’s private equity arm is paying €5 million in equity for the interest, of which €4.5 million will come from its green energy-specialist FCPR Capenergie fund, and the remaining €500,000 being provided by Crédit Agricole’s Italian banking subsidiary FriulAdria.

The deal marks CAPE’s first investment in an Italian company, and is the fifteenth investment its Capenergie fund has made in the last three years.

Elettrostudio Energia was founded in 2005 and is a subsidiary of energy group Elettrostudio. It specialises in green energy production using wind, solar, biomass and hydroelectric power. Elettrostudio Energia’s chairman Marco Ceroni said CAPE’s investment will help the firm step up its rate of project development and achieve its target installed capacity of 250 megawatts in operation by 2013.

Italy’s renewable energy sector has recently experienced rapid growth. At the end of last year, the country had an installed capacity of 3,736 megawatts of wind energy and 120 megawatts of solar energy, annual increases of 15 percent and 140 percent respectively.

CAPE has €2.8 billion under management.