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Barclays Joins BlueBay Asset Management for U.K. Direct Lending

Barclays Plc, the U.K.’s second-largest bank by assets, is joining BlueBay Asset Management LLP to provide direct lending to U.K. companies.

The two firms will provide loans of as much as 120 million pounds ($197 million) to U.K. mid-sized companies owned by private-equity firms, London-based Barclays said today in a statement.

Barclays and BlueBay join a growing number of financial firms providing direct lending to small and medium-sized European businesses seeking alternatives to traditional bank financing. The BlueBay Direct Lending Fund raised more than 800 million euros ($1 billion) in May, exceeding a target of 500 million euros, the money manager owned by Royal Bank of Canada said at the time.

“By joining forces with Barclays, the fund can now additionally offer financial sponsors and U.K. businesses a customised solution that combines the flexibility, speed and execution certainty of a private debt fund,” Anthony Fobel, the head of private lending strategies at BlueBay in London, said in the statement.

The fund will offer so-called unitranche loans, which combine senior and junior debt into a single credit facility.

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