French state-backed carrier Caisse Centrale de Réassurance (CCR) has acted as investor sponsor for the €85mn ($100mn) debt fund launched by Gageo Asset Finance Services.

Bertrand Labilloy – CCR

Gageo 1 is a debt fund that offers companies long-term financing between three and seven years using their stocks or industrial equipment as collateral. It aims to achieve a net investor return of over 4 percent.

The fund is aimed at companies with strong positions in their markets and an attractive business model.

It has already supported the debt restructuring of tableware manufacturer ARC France and backed the launch of the Naf Naf clothing brand, following its change of ownership.

The European Investment Bank (EIB), Bpifrance and MIF joined CCR and savings mutual Carac in the second closing of the fund.

The EIB’s equity contribution amounts to €30mn, and is guaranteed by the European Fund for Strategic Investments.

Further closings of the fund are planned for 2021 to reach the target size of €150mn.

“We are pleased to support the financing of the real economy through the Gageo fund in the difficult context of the current crisis,” said Bertrand Labilloy, CEO of CCR and investor sponsor of the fund.

“It’s extremely strong economic utility convinced us from the start. The Gageo 1 fund is also a diversifying investment for CCR in the category of secured private debt. Reasons for which we increased the amount of our participation on the occasion of this second closing.”

Paolo Gentiloni, European Commissioner for the Economy, said: “The climate of economic uncertainty caused by the Covid-19 pandemic continues to weigh on businesses.

“The Gageo fund, supported by the EIB as part of its Investment Plan for Europe, provides companies with tailor-made, long-term financing solutions to help them weather the storm.”