Muzinich & Co has announced the first closing of its pan-European private debt fund.
The closed-ended fund has €180m of commitments from a range of pension funds, insurance companies and family offices across Europe.
The fund will lend to SMEs in Western Europe with an Ebitda of between €3m and €20m. The loan maturity is expected to be five to eight years.
The fund’s co-manager Kirsten Bode said: “Banks have been deleveraging and withdrawing from this crucial middle market, which is a key driver of growth and includes as many as 100,000 companies. We will be particularly focusing on lower middle-market companies – a segment that is under-served at the moment. For a bottom-up credit specialist like Muzinich and its investors this creates a compelling opportunity.”
Fellow co-manager Sandrine Richards added: “We are aiming to build a diversified portfolio across geographies and industries that generates high income with some capital appreciation potential. Muzinich has been patiently laying the foundations for this with the launch of a series of individual funds in the UK, Italy, Spain and France, and the establishment of a strong pan-European infrastructure.”
Muzinich, which has over 20 private debt specialists working across Europe, said it is in the process of hiring a private debt specialist to lead a new office in Dublin.
Muzinich’s CEO and chairman George Muzinich said: “In this sector of the market it is important to have specialists on the ground. Over the past five years we have invested heavily in hiring the right people and developing teams in key centres across Europe. They are at the core of our deep commitment to providing growth capital to European middle-market companies. We are applying the same meticulous approach to private debt that we have been applying to high yield and other areas of the credit markets for more than 25 years.”