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EIB anchors mid-market firm’s inaugural fund

The European Investment Bank’s small business arm has helped push RiverRock European Capital Partners to a €76mn first close.

RiverRock European Capital Partners is set to hold a first close on €76 million for its inaugural fund which will lend capital to small- to mid-sized European businesses.

The UK-based firm, which began operations in 2009, said its biggest backer was the European Investment Fund (EIF), the European Investment Bank’s SME arm. The fund committed €25 million, said an EIF spokesperson.

The fund, which is expected to hold a final close around €250 million by this time next year, makes investments in the €5 million to €15 million range.

Capital for European SME’s remains terribly depressed

Jason Carley

It is also the latest example of governments partnering with their private sector counterparts to spur economic growth by investing in mid-market companies. Last week the UK launched the Business Growth Fund which will make available £2.5 billion for investment in British SMEs.

“The availability of capital for European SME’s remains terribly depressed and with the withdrawal of so many traditional financing sources from the market this situation has become structural rather than merely cyclical,” said RiverRock’s chief investment officer Jason Carley.