Insurers plan €800m fund for French SMEs

Tikehau Investment Management, led by Mathieu Chabran (pictured), and BNP Paribas will manage the fund.

French asset manager Tikehau Investment Management, helmed by managing director Mathieu Chabran, is understood to have won a mandate to co-manage a new fund that will provide debt finance to small companies struggling in stagnant French economy.

Tikehau will manage the fund, which is called Novo, alongside French bank BNP Paribas. The fund is targeting €800 million, of which about €300 million will be managed by Tikehau and the rest by BNP, according to reports.

Tikehau, which last week announced a strategic partnership with private equity firm Duke Street Capital, declined to comment. BNP could not be reached by press time. 

The fund will make debt investments of around €30million in French SMEs, as the French government attempts to revive an economy which is expected to contract by 0.3 percent in 2013, according to Bloomberg. The fund will buy bonds issued by around 30 companies, the Bloomberg report suggested.

State owned bank Caisse des Depots et Consignations (CDC) and CNP Assurances are reportedly contributing 10 percent of the fund’s total each.  German insurance giant Allianz is also understood to be involved as is Aviva.  

French insurers bought €4.2billion of small and medium sized companies’ debt last year according to the French insurers’ federation.