Debt firm Aptimus seeks €500m for UK and Spain impact strategy

Aptimus (formerly Bespoke) joins Kartesia, Tikehau and others marketing impact debt funds – but stands out for raising two nationally-focused impact vehicles.

Mid-market credit firm Aptimus Capital Partners is seeking €500 million for a newly-launched impact strategy that will include a UK-focused fund and a Spain-focused vehicle, New Private Markets has learned.

Aptimus – which rebranded from Bespoke Capital earlier this year – will originate loans to mid-market growth companies in the UK and Spain. Most deals will not have private equity sponsors.

Aptimus declined to comment on any plans for fundraising.

Several private debt firms are marketing impact funds, including Apollo, Amundi and White Oak. In the mid-market European space, Aptimus will be competing with firms such as Tikehau, Kartesia, Eiffel and Three Hills, all of which are raising impact strategies with targets below the €1 billion mark. Aptimus stands apart because each fund is focused on just one country. But the firm will seek diversification in other ways, group chief executive Andrew Godson told New Private Markets.

The firm will pursue a “flexible capital” approach, he said: “Even if we’re lending senior debt, we can look at a package of returns that incorporate cash, PIK and some sort of equity upside.”

The newly-launched strategy will focus on sectors mapped onto the UN’s sustainable development goals, such as environment, healthcare, education and smart infrastructure. The impact sectors Aptimus has selected are “both applicable and relatively common in the markets that we operate in”, said Godson.

While many fund managers take a thematic approach to impact funds, “we want to be diversified across sector. Both social and environmental goals allow us to maintain more diverse credit portfolios.”

Aptimus will look for companies with business models that are aligned to “that business’s contribution to whatever goal we are applying”. This is a concept commonly known as co-linearity.

The firm “will be relatively tailored in the [impact] measurements we apply”, said Godson. “Because we’re going direct [without private equity sponsors], we’re able to build a more tailored arrangement, which means we can measure more precisely and we can be transparent in our measurement and the performance of the underlying business.”

Aptimus has offices in London and Madrid.