Sunday 24 September 2017

NPRF and BlueBay raise €450m for SMEs

Colm Kelpie

Colm Kelpie

A JOINT venture between the National Pension Reserve Fund (NPRF) and a global investment company has raised the full €450m it sought to finance new loans to SMEs.

BlueBay Ireland Corporate Credit Ltd will provide credit to larger cash-starved SMEs and and mid-sized businesses.

The multi-million euro fund includes €200m pledged from the NPRF. The rest has been secured from BlueBay's international backers.

Individual loans are expected to range from €5m to €45m but BlueBay is also able to get its hands on extra capital should it be needed.

Pat Walsh, BlueBay's head of Irish investments, said it was a great result to have reached the targeted fund amount.

"We are already in discussions with a good number of potential borrowers and have issued several indicative term sheets," Mr Walsh said.

"We look forward to engaging with a wide variety of intermediaries and companies."

Borrowers can use the loans for a variety of purposes, including refinancing their current loans, as new corporate credit lines, and to fund investment.

Investment bank BNY Mellon has been appointed portfolio administrator, trustee and custodian to BlueBay Ireland Corporate Credit Ltd.

The global company will act as a drawdown notification agent, account bank, cash manager and issuance-paying agent to the venture.

Paul Carty, NPRF chairman, hailed the inclusion of international investors in the fund.

"This is the largest of the NPRF's suite of SME-focused funds and an essential complement to the equity and restructuring funds launched earlier this year," Mr Carty said.

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