S&P/CBI Initiative Aims to Give SMEs Access to Alternative Funding

European mid-market companies need to raise up to an estimated €3.5 trillion in funding over the next five years, said Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services (S&P), which is to host a series of events in Europe aimed at firms seeking to access alternative sources of finance.

At the first UK event, to be held at The Berkeley Hotel, London on 26 November S&P and the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) will speak at a seminar that will explore alternative sources of funding for midsize companies. Representatives from mid-market intermediary organisations and institutional investors attending will provide an overview of the alternative finance market options available.

“European businesses have traditionally relied on bank funding, but deleveraging and tightening regulation are creating a scarcity of finance,” said Roberto Rivero, S&P’s vice president of market development for Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA).

“This problem is particularly acute for the so-called ‘squeezed middle’- companies with revenues between €80m and €1.3bn, and outstanding debt between €40m and €400m.

“There is increasing appetite from institutional investors for investing in midsize companies. Yet barriers remain: potential investors are reluctant to invest in midsize companies until they have more clarity on firms’ creditworthiness. And midsize companies often lack sufficient knowledge of the alternatives open to them.”

At the 26 November seminar Rivero will be joined by Hayley Conboy, the CBI’s head of enterprise; James Douglas, global co-head of debt and capital advisory, Deloitte; and Simon Fretwell, director, private placement at M&G Investments as speakers.

Registrations for the event can be made via sonia.bassi@standardandpoors.com or online at www.standardandpoors.com/midmarket.

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