ESO expands into Germany with Frankfurt office

The firm hopes to capitalise on Germany’s vast SME market and growing demand for debt finance.

ESO Capital Partners has opened a Frankfurt Office to help it provide finance to companies across the German-speaking countries.

The new office will be led by Christian Fritsch, partner at ESO Capital, and will comprise four investment professionals focused on serving SMEs in Germany, Austria and Switzerland.

ESO’s expansion into Germany follows its recent acquisition of Core Capital, a UK-based lower mid-market private equity fund. ESO has historically focused on providing debt investments to growth companies and its acquisition of Core Capital enables it to invest across the capital structure.

It said Germany represents a significant opportunity, with an estimated 3.7 million SME businesses in Germany. ESO added that demand for debt among German SMEs has been growing steadily since 2011 and is expected to continue.

The firm already has some exposure to German companies, with investments in 21Sportsgroup and Loancos.

Commenting on the expansion, Fritsch said: “Germany has a rich heritage of privately-owned small and medium-sized companies; by building a base in Frankfurt we will be well placed to support them and meet their growing appetite for credit, particularly given the changing shape of the local traditional lending market.”