EQT holds first close on maiden direct lending fund

The Stockholm-headquartered firm has raised €350 million for its first direct lending fund.

Specialist investor EQT has reached a first close of €350 million on its maiden direct lending fund, a market source said.

EQT Mid-Market Credit Fund launched in the first quarter of 2015 and is targeting €500 million. Fundraising efforts have garnered commitments from limited partners in EQT’s existing credit funds as well as a number of new investors. The new fund will target first lien unitranche facilities and seeks to fill a gap left by a reduction in bank lending post-economic crisis. It will aim to provide flexible financing solutions to high-quality, mid-market companies in Europe, PDI understands.

EQT declined to comment.

The firm has two other credit funds which invest in the full risk-reward spectrum of credit opportunities, according to its website. They have deployed around €1.4 billion in around 60 companies during the past seven years, PDI understands.

EQT Credit I and II primarily invest in the debt of operationally sound but over-leveraged medium-sized European companies. The funds have the flexibility to make investments in the secondary market and provide new funds where traditional sources of capital are unable to provide a satisfactory solution for stakeholders.

EQT Credit is based in London and has 15 investment advisory professionals. The unit was founded in 2008 by Andrew Konopelski (pictured), head of EQT Credit, Paul de Rome, chief investment officer, and Cyril Tergiman. All are partners at the firm. The new mid-market fund will be managed by portfolio managers Paul Johnson and Ralph Betz with the support of EQT’s wider credit team.