Following a surge in demand for non-bank finance and an estimated £25bn of debt funding and refinancing needed for UK small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) between 2012 and 2016, Palio Capital Partners is carving a new niche in the UK market by providing senior debt and mezzanine loans to businesses with an enterprise value of between £10-£100m. Following success in the US where the debt financing market is valued at around US$100bn, Palio is pioneering the model in the UK lower mid-market, where a significant credit supply gap has been created by the banks’ failure to lend to SMEs.
This lending model has been received by European investors and The European Investment Fund (EIF) and has already pledged a cornerstone investment to Palio’s Superflex Fund I LP (Superflex), taking the fund a third of the way to its first close of £100m, despite the challenging fundraising environment.
Mike Henebery, chief executive officer (CEO) and founder of Palio, said: “The SME market is the engine-room of the UK economy but the major constraint on the growth of these businesses is the scarcity of debt finance. The government has recognised this issue and recently launched the Business Finance Partnership to ease the flow of credit by investing £1bn through managed funds that lend directly to UK SMEs. We fully support the government’s plans and have been invited to participate in this project which we see as a force for good.”
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