BlackRock’s European Private Debt team has successfully closed its EUR1.1 billion first-time European Middle Market Private Debt Fund alongside several separate accounts, bringing the total AIM of the strategy to EUR1.8 billion.
The capital raise was a result of the team’s strong experience in middle market investing, their differentiated sourcing approach through local originators, and a global effort across the BlackRock platform.
The Fund’s final close exceeded the initial target of EUR750 million. The strategy saw strong demand from a diverse client base of around 50 investors globally, including insurers, public pension plans, foundations, endowments and family offices.
James Keenan, Chief Investment Officer and Global Co-Head of Credit for BlackRock Alternative Investors (BAI), says: “We are very pleased about the successful close of this Fund, which is a milestone for BlackRock in helping to establish our footprint as a strong player within European middle market debt and will aim to further expand our capabilities in Europe. This is another important step on our path to establish a leading global private credit platform.”
The Fund has invested roughly 30 per cent of its capital commitments since its first close. There are currently eight investments in the portfolio, diversified by sector, tranche and country, and the European team continues to witness a healthy deal flow and is reviewing a robust pipeline of transactions.
Stephan Caron, Head of European Middle Market Private Debt at BlackRock, says: “The success of our first European fund reflects our strong expertise in sourcing investment opportunities for our clients and also our strong credit underwriting capabilities. In times of very low interest rates, a growing number of institutional investors are moving to middle market debt, attracted by the potential of higher-yielding, floating-rate assets with decreased volatility. We believe this trend is still in its early stages, and that over time it may lead to significant changes in how middle market companies around the world are financed, and of how credit exposures are becoming an increasingly important component in institutional portfolios.”