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Certior Capital holds first close for €300m-targeting Credit Opportunities Fund III

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Finnish private equity firm Certior Capital has held a first close on €83m for Certior Credit Opportunities Fund III, which targets €300m.

The fund attracted investments from Finnish, Benelux and Spanish institutions, Certior said, and that it aims to achieve 10%+ net IRR through a diversified pan-European portfolio of 100+ senior secured loans.

Certior said the fund will focus predominantly on the European SME direct lending segment. Half of it will be invested in the first or second institutional funds of country-specific management teams, while the other half will be divested through co-investments.

Ari Jauho, chairman of Certior Capital, said, “We are very grateful to investors in the predecessor vehicles, and several new LPs, who strongly supported the new fund at first close. In our previous two funds we showed that we were able to build diversified portfolios of EUR 5-25m sponsorless senior loans and deliver very attractive returns.

“While massive amounts of capital are chasing larger, PE sponsored deals we continue to see very little institutional money focus on SME direct lending transactions. These smaller loans into profitable businesses can therefore still offer investors a high cash yield, attractive all-in pricing with upside potential, conservative capital structures and lender friendly terms with full covenants – features which we see across our portfolio of around 350 such loans”.

Certior closed CCOF II last year on €125m. It committed to six primary funds, one secondary and 26 co-investments, and has an IRR in excess of 10%.

The firm also held a €35m first close for its Certior Special Opportunities Fund last year.

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