Prestige Funds has announced the to launch a new direct lending fund focusing on agricultural and SME businesses in both the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland.
Called Prime Alternative Finance (PRIME), it will launch in November to external investors as a Luxembourg-based, SICAV SIF operating with monthly liquidity and managed by Prestige Capital Management in Malta.
PRIME is the first direct-lending fund to be launched by Prestige that will have the mandate to invest in Ireland and the UK. Prestige’s existing direct lending funds have focused entirely on the UK to date (although the wider Prestige business has significant experience lending in Northern Ireland and several team members were previously employed by Allied Irish Bank).
The fund will provide agricultural/SME loan finance for “on-farm energy” related projects as well as asset finance related opportunities. Prestige estimates that PRIME will have £300-400m of potential deal flow opportunities over the next several years.
Through its investment in a dedicated UK based, agricultural specialist Finance Arranger which has existed for almost 18 years and has conducted approximately 15,000 loans to 6,000 loan customers; Prestige has developed an experienced team of direct lending professionals who specialise in agriculture, energy and SME lending.
Craig Reeves, the founder of Prestige, commented: “The critical farming sector in the British Isles is an important market for secured lending, with private debt replacing commercial bank lending in many areas of the agricultural economy.”