Black Toro eyes first close

The fledgling Spanish distressed-for-control investor is looking to raise €500m for its first distressed debt fund.

Madrid-headquartered distressed debt firm Black Toro Capital is hoping to hold a first close early next year as it strives to raise €500 million for its maiden fund.  

The firm was launched by former MatlinPatterson Global Advisors co-founder Ramon Betolaza and executives Ignacio Foncillas (currently advising JC Flowers on Spanish opportunities) and José Manuel de la Infiesta (who founded advisory group Trinity Capital Partners UK). It has been on the road with its maiden fund since early last year, de la Infiesta told Private Debt Investor. The firm is not using a placement agent but has met with more than 120 investors to date.  

The fund, called Black Toro Capital Fund I, will be used to make distressed-for-control investments in Spanish companies with between €100 million and €1 billion in sales. It will be sector-agnostic, targeting “Fundamentally strong companies that are just in the wrong place at the wrong time through a lack of appropriate financing”, de la Infiesta said. It is not designed to be an operational turnaround fund, but one based around partnering with owners of businesses, he added, be they founders, sponsors or lenders who have taken ownership after default.  

“We believe the opportunity for distressed investing in Spain is now one of the best ever but there is a clear lack of teams with a proven track record. Plenty of US-based funds are raising the money to take advantage of this trade without dedicated European teams or past experience in the area,” de la Infiesta said.  

“Twelve months ago Spain was a delicate topic of conversation, with many questioning the economy and whether asset sales would happen, but now everything’s changed,” he added.  

The fund will look to make between 10 and 14 investments of between €20 million and €75 million in size over a seven year investment period. The firm is targeting a 2.5 x return with an IRR of 25 percent. The fund’s fee structure is a typical 2-and-20 model.