March 1 (Bloomberg) -- BlueBay Asset Management Ltd., a London-based money manager owned by Royal Bank of Canada, raised more than 500 million euros ($650 million) for its first fund providing direct lending to European companies, according to two people with knowledge of the matter.
The BlueBay Direct Lending Fund I can raise as much as 750 million euros before its final closing in the second quarter of this year, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the information is private. Started in October 2011, the fund raised 175 million euros after the first round of fundraising closed in May 2012, people said at the time.
Laura Hudson, a spokeswoman in London for BlueBay, declined to comment on the fundraising.
BlueBay is seeking to expand into the gap left by European banks, which have cut lending to smaller companies after pressure from regulators to bolster their capital ratios. Businesses in the region get about 75 percent of their financing from banks compared with about 30 percent in the U.S., according to the European Banking Federation.
BlueBay’s fund will provide senior and subordinated loans to European small and medium-sized companies and is headed by Anthony Fobel, previously a partner at Och-Ziff Capital Management Group LLC.
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