French alternative asset manager LFPI Group has held a first close on €200 million, halfway to its €400 million goal.
The Paris-based group began raising the fund, called LFPI European Debt Fund, in October last year.
The fund has already made seven investments and has invested a quarter of committed capital to date, according to the firm's website.
“Following a structural shift in banking system and benefiting from a reduction of bank lending to middle-size corporates, the fund offers direct lending alternative solutions. The increase in corporate credit demand and low default rates has contributed to achieving and attractive performance for its investors,” LFPI said at the time of the fund's launch.
It will seek to provide debt to small to med-cap companies in Western Europe, with a particular focus on France and Germany. It has a flexible mandate to pursue investments via senior debt, unitranche, or junior debt, as well as the capacity to invest in non-performing loans on the secondary market.
Cesar Rodriguez Montes leads LFPI's debt fund management team. He was previously head of structured acquisition finance and financial sponsors at ING Group. His team is spread across the firm's Paris, Geneva and Vienna offices.
LFPI's first foray into private debt came in 2007 with the launch of LFPI Mezzanine. That fund has delivered a 12 percent IRR on all exited investments.