17
Feb’ 2020

Expert Talk

4 questions to Laurent Bénard, Managing Partner of CAPZA.

Who is CAPZA?

 

CAPZA is an established European private investment platform focused on small and mid-cap companies. Since 2004, we have been providing them with flexible financing solutions throughout the capital structure. Our unique platform of 4 complementary strategies – Flex Equity, Private Debt (Unitranche, Mezzanine), Transition and Artemid Senior Loans – enables us to support companies over the long term at different stages of their growth journey.

What is the sweet spot for private debt investment today?

 

We provide unitranche / mezzanine financing to companies between €10 million to €40 million of EBITDA across continental Europe. We believe this is a sweet spot that the mega funds have abandoned for larger deals and that is full of value creation potential.

Do you consider capital deployment to be a challenge, considering the fierce competition on the European direct lending market?

 

In a market where a lot of money is chasing a limited number of opportunities, we have demonstrated our ability to deploy capital into more than 90 transactions over the past 15 years. We have already completed 7 investments with our fifth private debt fund launched in July 2019. This has been possible thanks to our unique sourcing capabilities: our existing portfolios of equity and private debt have proven to be a fertile ground of opportunities as illustrated by the high level (64%) of proprietary / repeat transactions completed.

We continue to focus on resilient industries such as healthcare, IT and Software.
“ 
Laurent Bénard, Managing Partner of CAPZA

In the current environment, what kind of transactions are you looking at?

 

Deployment should not come at the cost of quality. We continue to focus on resilient industries such as healthcare or IT and Software, that represent more than 50% of our investments. Our long lasting experience across credit cycle has enabled us to build a robust process with emphasis on credit quality and no compromise on documentation. This consistency of approach resulted in a particularly low loss rate since 2004.

Private Debt
Private Debt
Leading mid-market
direct lender
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95 transactions since 2005
Source: CAPZA as of 31/03/2020
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