‘Northern Powerhouse’ debt fund gets £30m British Business Bank-backing

Muzinich & Co's new private debt fund will invest in UK small and medium businesses, with a particular focus on small firms in the North West

A new fund which intends to support the growth of the UK’s ‘Northern Powerhouse’ has announced its first close at £185m, with £30m investment from the government-backed British Business Bank.

Manchester-based asset manager Muzinich & Co’s new private debt fund, which has commitments from six institutional investors, will target small and medium-sized businesses across the UK with a specific focus on companies in the North West.

Its first fund – a closed-ended vehicle with a 10 year investment term – will invest in businesses with an EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amorization) of between £3m and £20m at the time of investment.

The debt fund will invest between £5m to £20m in each eligible business and is targeting £350m in assets. It will be run by co-heads Kirsten Bode and Marc Shirman.

Peter Wilson, CEO of British Business Bank Investments Limited, commented: “We made an early commitment to support the development of the fund and are delighted that Muzinich has achieved such a successful first close.

“Its investment in a team at the heart of the Northern Powerhouse not only fits with our aim of developing new and diverse sources of debt finance for UK small and medium-sized companies but also gives Muzinich an edge in securing attractive lending opportunities beyond the South East.

Commercial Secretary at the Treasury, Lord O’Neill, added:

“This new fund is further evidence of the momentum behind the Northern Powerhouse which is increasingly on the radar for investors from around the world.”

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