Azimut and Epic launch Azimut Direct to bring alternative financing to Italian SMEs
Epic is the real economy marketplace, specializing in minibonds, direct lending, private equity and club deals. Epic’s fintech platform facilitates the meeting between Italian SMEs and a selected audience of qualified institutional and private investors. With the partnership with Azimut, the two launched Azimut Direct to come in the help of SMEs looking for financing.
Azimut has bought Epic’s fintech business and launched the newco Azimut Direct. The newco will be 50.1% owned by Azimut and 49.9% by Epic. Completion of the transaction, which will be subject to regulatory approval, is expected during the first half of 2021.
Azimut Direct’s objective is to support the growth and development of Italian SMEs, through joint consultancy, structuring and placement of alternative finance instruments with qualified institutional and private investors. The newco will be to all intents and purposes a marketplace for the real economy at the service of Italian SMEs to meet their needs for extraordinary finance, operating in the field of credit mediation and securities-based crowdfunding reserved for qualified investors.
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Azimut Direct capitalizes on Epic’s fintech experience
Azimut Direct’s business plan is functional to the Azimut Group’s strategic objective of creating a broad ecosystem in support of the Italian economy, within which a marketplace of companies and investors can be developed, enabling funds and other professional investors to get to know, select and finance the most deserving SMEs.
Azimut Direct capitalizes on Epic’s fintech experience, which combines structured finance capabilities with IT processes of corporate analysis and distribution, with the potential synergies that can be extracted with the help of the technology developed by Azimut Capital Tech, created following the partnership signed in April 2020 with the fintech company Borsa del Credito.
With the investment in Azimut Direct, Azimut accelerates the development of the Synthetic Bank project with the aim of providing loans to Italian SMEs for $1.46 billion (€1.2 billion) in the period 2021-2025, thanks to the alternative credit product range, which has been enriched in recent weeks by 2 new innovative funds: the Eltif Pir Digital Lending, a strategy focused on state-guaranteed loans and trade credits invested through fintech platforms;
the Private Debt Multistrategy alternative investment fund, a private debt strategy with the benefits of high diversification between performing assets, non-performing assets, direct lending and special situations.
Pietro Giuliani, Chairman of the Azimut Group, explained: “The asset management industry is evolving in its ability to act as an alternative to the traditional banking model in financing Italian small and medium-sized enterprises. The use of technology enables us to create new opportunities for returns on our clients’ patient capital, which are deployed in business financing activities that in turn benefit from our managers’ understanding of their needs and fast disbursement times. This new project allows us to increase our product offerings in the private markets segment, an asset class that is increasingly fundamental within client portfolios to generate positive performance in the medium to long term”.
Andrea Crovetto, CEO of Epic, added: “This mission requires method, specialization and rapid responses. In Italy alone, we have over 3 thousand billion billion in private managed savings, which will have an ever-increasing share invested in the real economy, also thanks to technologies and professionals who follow the best standards of investment analysis. The strong growth figures for 2020 testify to the maturity of Italian fintech, which has collaborated well with the world of traditional finance, guaranteeing immediate and simple solutions. The strategic partnership between Azimut and Epic fits into this context.”
Epic is the real economy marketplace, specializing in minibonds, direct lending, private equity and club deals. Epic’s fintech platform facilitates the meeting between Italian SMEs and a selected audience of qualified institutional and private investors. Through its fintech platform, Epic acts as an independent intermediary between companies and investors and offers, in a transparent way and at contained costs, to the former the possibility of finding capital for their own medium-long term growth projects, and to the latter a new asset class to optimize the return on their portfolios.
(Featured image by Matteo Raimondi via Unsplash)
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