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Atlante Private Equity, a fund managed by Italian banking giant Intesa Sanpaolo‘s (BIT: ISP) IMI Fondi Chiusi SGR, has acquired a majority stake in Italian irrigation leader Gruppo Giunti from GIF SpA, a family business owned by Pietro Giunti. Atlante Private Equity formed a new company called Terra, which acquired three operating businesses, says Milano Finanza. Two of these businesses are based in the province of Perugia: Giunti SpA, which serves major national and international clients in over 60 countries worldwide; and Irrigation Center Ltd, which serves the Italian retail market. The third business, Gival France, based in Bouc-Bel-Air, France, mainly serves the French market. Pietro Giunti in turn will retain a 25% interest in the recapitalized new company, and will become the new company’s CEO. Last year Gruppo Giunti had a turnover of just under 50 million Euros. Mr. Giunti will continue to operate GIF SpA’s remaining unrelated activities independently, primarily in the real estate sector. The aim of the partnership is to support a major program of growth, nationally and internationally, which also provides for the acquisition of other companies in the industry, with which there are already advanced discussions. With over 70 years of history, the Gruppo Giunti is the largest manufacturer and distributor of Italian products and high value-added systems for the agricultural irrigation industry and water transportation. The group generates over 60% of the business abroad and offers a wide range of products and solutions both for traditional irrigation, including galvanized spherical steel pipes, fittings, modern mechanized irrigation solutions and accessories, and for precision irrigation, including drip tape, lay-flat, connectors, filters and accessories. The Giunti Group also operates in the water transportation industry. The company was founded by Giacomo Giunti in 1945. Competition for control of Giunti was fierce, with full participation of both major industry players and private equity funds, Milano Finanza said. Corporate bidders included American Valley Industries, Toro Corporation, Rivulis Irrigation (formerly John Deere Water), Israeli drip-irrigation leader Netafim, and Indian giant Mahindra & Mahindra. Private equity funds interested in the deal, included Ambienta SGR, Gradient SGR, Finint & Partners and Yarpa. CP Advisors assisted Pietro Giunti in the deal, while legal and fiscal advice to the Giunti Group was provided by Legance. IMI Fondi Chiusi was advised by EY and Gitti Raynaud & Partners served as its legal advisor. Intesa Sanpaolo is the leading banking group in Italy, with over 4,100 branches and 11.1 million customers. The banking group was formed by the merger of Banca Intesa and Sanpaolo IMI in 2007. The following year Banca Commerciale Italiana joined the group. The oldest part of the banking group is Cariplo SpA which traces its roots to Austrian household savings bank Cassa di Risparmio delle Provincie Lombarde which was established in 1823. Intesa Sanpaolo is among the top banking groups in the euro zone, with a market capitalization of 39.2 billion Euros, as of Feb. 29, 2016. Intesa Sanpaolo has a selected presence in Central Eastern Europe and Middle Eastern and North African areas with approximately 1,200 branches and 8.2 million customers. Its international network of specialists spreads across 28 countries, in particular in the Middle East and North Africa, and in areas where Italian companies are most active, such as the United States, Brazil, Russia, India and China. IMI Fondi Chiusi SGR SpA is wholly owned by IMI Investimenti S.p.A., a subsidiary of Intesa Sanpaolo. The company’s registered office is in Bologna, with operations in Milan, Rome and Naples. IMI Fondi Chiusi is exclusively focused on private equity deals in small and medium enterprises (SME). Atlante Private Equity is a private equity fund of the Intesa Sanpaolo group. Leveraging the experience acquired in managing three regional funds, Nord Impresa, Centro Impresa, and Sviluppo per il Mezzogiorno, the fund provides Italian SMEs with an effective support for growth, giving institutional investors the opportunity to make private equity investments in Italy.]]>