Luxembourg/Warsaw, 4 August 2021

CVI establishes with EIF support the first institutional direct lending fund ever with focus on Central Europe

  • The European Investment Fund (EIF), with the support of the Private Credit Tailored for SMEs Programme of the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI), is committing €40 million into the fund
  • The cornerstone investment aims to facilitate fundraising among private investors

CVI Dom Maklerski (CVI) — the leading lower mid-cap/SME focused private debt fund manager based in Poland and operating in Central Europe — has announced the first closing of its first closed-end fund focused on institutional investors, CVI CEE Private Debt Fund, at €80 million.

The EIF has made a cornerstone investment of €40 million under the Private Credit Tailored for the SMEs Programme of the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI), part of the European Union’s Investment Plan for Europe. It is seeking to help CVI to channel more private capital towards the lower-end of the market and play a catalytic role in attracting new investors looking for opportunities in the direct lending space across Central Europe. Several family offices and institutional investors have also joined the first closing.

Following its first close, the fund has already made seven investments, and two more are expected to be completed within one month, making it more than 30% invested. Supported companies come from a broad set of industries including boat manufacturing, holiday resort operation, car part manufacturing, e-commerce services and renewable energy construction and operation. The fund aims to carry out more than 50 investments across Central Europe, including Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, the Baltics, Romania and Hungary.

To date, CVI has made more than 600 private debt investments with invested capital of more than €2.3 billion, having supported more than 250 companies in Central Europe. “The fund will continue to execute CVI’s proven and successful private debt strategy of investing in lower mid-cap businesses and SMEs in selected Central European countries, with investment sizes of €2 million to €15 million, and possibly more together with other funds managed by CVI,” commented CVI Managing Director Marcin Leja. The fund, which has a target of €300 million, is the first ever, direct lending fund focused on institutional investors that targets investments in Central Europe.

CVI Managing Partner Rafal Lis said: “We have been managing private debt funds focused on Central Europe since 2012, becoming over time the market leader and bringing new products to the market. We are very happy to push the boundaries once again by creating a fund structure that enables international institutional investors to invest in the growing private debt opportunities in Poland and more widely in Central Europe. We are very happy to welcome the European Investment Fund among our investors, thus further strengthening the cooperation, which started with the InnovFin guarantee programme in 2018.”

CVI Managing Director Radoslav Tausinger added: “Central Europe offers a significant opportunity in terms of private debt, as the market is still very much underserved. We look forward to capitalising on the platform that we have been developing, including the deepest private debt team in Central Europe. This fund supports our momentum in helping well-performing SME businesses grow while generating fast deployment as well as superior risk-adjusted returns for our investors.”

EIF Chief Executive Alain Godard said: “We are delighted to back CVI’s CEE Private Debt Fund and together with them support companies seeking medium to long-term financing, with flexible and tailor-made solutions. The fund will provide companies in Poland and Central and Eastern Europe with an alternative source of financing, which is key to overcoming the ongoing crisis posed by the pandemic.”

Background information:

The European Investment Fund (EIF) is part of the European Investment Bank Group. Its central mission is to support Europe's micro, small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) by helping them to access finance. The EIF designs and develops venture and growth capital, guarantees and microfinance instruments which specifically target this market segment. In this role, the EIF fosters EU objectives in support of innovation, research and development, entrepreneurship, growth and employment.

The Investment Plan for Europe was launched in November 2014 to reverse the downward trend in investment levels and put Europe on the path to economic recovery. Its innovative approach based on the use of an EU budget guarantee provided to the EIB Group has enabled and continues to enable substantial public and private sector funds to be mobilised for investment into strategic sectors of the European economy. The Investment Plan for Europe has so far mobilised €546.5 of investment and supported more than 1.4 million startups and SMEs across Europe. Find the latest EFSI figures by sector and by country here.

EFSI Private Credit Tailored for SMEs Programme

As part of the Investment Plan for Europe, the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI) has been the central pillar of EU financing and investment support and was significantly redirected in 2020 to support EU businesses impacted by the COVID-19 crisis. The Private Credit Programme under EFSI makes cornerstone investments in funds that provide alternative, flexible and tailor-made debt financing for businesses.

CVI Dom Maklerski (CVI), headquartered in Poland, is the largest manager of private debt funds in Central Europe with close to €1 billion in assets under management. Since its inception in 2012, CVI has deployed more than €2.3 billion into small and mid-market companies in over 600 private debt transactions. The majority of funds managed by CVI are invested in direct lending strategies that deliver superior risk-adjusted returns on predominantly senior structures. In 2019, CVI was the first Polish, as well as the first Central European, fund manager recognised by Private Debt Investor magazine, with the “Lower Mid-Market Lender of the Year, Europe 2018” award. CVI is a signatory of United Nations-supported Principles for Responsible Investment (UN-PRI).

Press contacts:

EBI Group:

Andrea Morawski, a.morawski@eib.org, tel.: +352 43 79 83427 / Mobile: +352 691 284 349 Website: www.eif.org - Press Office: +352 4379 21000 – press@eib.org Follow us on Twitter@eif_eu


Cohn&Wolfe: Izabela Wejcht, Izabela.wejcht@cohnwolfe.pl, Tel +48 883 505 757