Fiera secures C$125m for SME lending fund

The new vehicle will look for opportunities in the underserved SME market in Canada.

Canada-based Fiera Private Debt has held a first close on its latest fund with C$125 million ($102 million; €85 million) in commitments.

The fund, Fiera Enhanced Private Debt Fund, is smaller than previous Fiera vehicles, with a target of C$300 million, as it intends to focus on loans within the small and medium enterprises market, which the firm said is an underserved segment in Canada. Commitments so far have all come from Canadian institutional investors.

Loans will range from C$3 million to C$15 million with a typical loan being between C$8 million and C$10 million. Companies with an EBITDA of C$2 million to C$20 million will be targeted with a focus on private or owner-operated businesses across all domestic industry sectors with the exception of oil and gas.

The fund aims to make its first investments later in the summer of 2021 and has a projected IRR of 10 percent all cash yield. Final close is expected to take place by early 2022.

Jean Gamache, president of Fiera Private Debt, said: “We are very excited to announce the first close of our Enhanced Private Debt Fund which will focus on higher yielding loan opportunities in the Canadian mid-market. With our long history of private debt investing and our team of highly experienced credit professionals, we can offer investors unique access to this underserved market segment offering attractive risk adjusted returns and strong diversification.”