Ambienta May Invest in Germany, Italy to Tap Water Market

Ambienta SGR SpA, a private equity investor, is looking to acquire stakes in two companies in Germany and Italy to tap demand for technologies that curb energy use and conserve water resources.

The Milan-based company plans to make the initial investment from its second fund early next year, Chief Executive Officer Nino Tronchetti Provera said. Ambienta raised 147.2 million euros ($200 million) for it in October, mostly from pension funds, insurance companies and fund of funds.

“We like resource efficiency and pollution control as they aren’t affected by regulations and incentives,” Tronchetti Provera said without identifying the target companies beyond being in water and lighting. “They are based on basic economic and long-term trends.”

Due to growing population and rising consumption, such investments “haven’t been affected by the industrial and financial crisis that we’ve experienced in the last five years,” the CEO said in a Dec. 2 phone interview.

The first fund, Ambienta I, raised 217.5 million euros and invested in companies including Spig SpA, an Italian maker of products that manage water, and FoundOcean, an engineering company operating in oil, gas and renewable energy.

The company expects to reach 200 million euros for the second fund before the end of this year and 300 million euros by mid-2014, Tronchetti Provera said.

The second fund will only invest in European businesses that export products or services. It plans on taking stakes in these companies of about 80 percent, he said.

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