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BNP Paribas closes Euro SME Debt Fund II at EUR576.5m close

BNP Paribas Asset Management (BNPP AM) has held a close of the BNP Paribas Euro SME Debt Fund II (‘Fund II’) with total capital commitments of EUR576.5 million.  The fundraising for Fund II follows the completion of the investment period for BNP Paribas Euro SME Debt Fund I (‘Fund I’) earlier this year. Commitments have been received from 20 investors based in France, Belgium, the United Kingdom, Italy and Japan, half of whom are existing investors in Fund I.

Both funds provide a source of long-term financing for SMEs, in the form of senior debt in fine or deferred amortisation, which is complementary to conventional bank financing. As SMEs have more difficulty accessing the bond market, this source of funding allows them to acquire the additional resources necessary for their development.

Fund I has provided finance for 101 small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs), each with fewer than 3,000 employees and turnover below EUR 50 million, in France and Italy, across a diversified range of industries.

Fund II similarly offers SMEs an innovative financing solution that combines a medium term bank loan (of about five years), with a long-term loan provided by the fund (seven-10 years). Loans are originated primarily through the partnership between BNPP AM and the BNP Paribas Group’s business networks in France, Belgium, Italy and Luxembourg. This partnership provides investors with maximum diversification in the fund, while providing an innovative financing solution to SME clients of BNP Paribas networks.

Funds I and II are managed by BNPP AM’s Private Debt & Real Assets investment division (PDRA), led by David Bouchoucha. With around 50 investment professionals and assets under management of EUR9 billion, PDRA offers clients a wide range of private debt solutions in corporate debt, infrastructure debt, real estate debt and structured finance.

David Bouchoucha, CIO of Private Debt & Real Assets at BNP Paribas Asset Management, says: “Against a challenging backdrop due to the impact of the Coronavirus, Fund II provides SMEs with long term financing to overcome the crisis and continue their development. We are very proud of the continued support that we have received from those investors already invested in Fund I, as well as welcoming new, increasingly international, investors.”

BNP Paribas Euro SME Debt Fund I and BNP Paribas Euro SME Debt Fund II are only available to professional investors. Investments in the funds are subject to market fluctuations and the risks inherent in securities investments.  The value of investments and the income they generate may go down as well as up and it is possible that investors will not recover their initial outlay, the funds described being at risk of capital loss.

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