Direct lending, a financing alternative for medium-sized companies

Direct lending is a type of corporate debt in which lenders other than banks lend to companies without intermediaries, such as an investment bank, a broker or a private equity firm.

In direct lending, borrowers are usually small or medium sized companies, rather than large listed companies, and lenders may be wealthy individuals, family offices or asset management companies.

Direct lending has found its place thanks to the reduction in volumes that traditional banks have experienced in lending to companies. The reason for this reduction can be found in the increasingly harsh regulation of corporate lending, which forces banks to provision more capital each time they grant a loan.

This has provided an opportunity for a growing group of asset managers to start lending, from which both medium-sized companies and larger corporations (through syndicated loans) have benefited. It has also benefited investors in these direct lending funds, which were looking for a response to the very low market returns in recent years.

The global volumes of these private debt funds have grown steadily and now stand at over $100 billion.

Global volume transacted in direct lending, in billions of dollars

Despite this boom in direct lending around the world, in Spain it is still a very unknown instrument for medium-sized companies, as are a multitude of alternative financial solutions to banking. Altria Corpo wants to help these companies, advising them on the best financing solution for each case, and giving them access to the more than 100 financial providers it currently has.

Altria Corpo intermediates in 2018 more than 51 million euros in financing companies

The financial consultant Altria Corpo, specialized in medium and large companies, achieved last year more of 51 million euros of financing for its clients, which represents a new record for the firm. The number of successfully advised transactions reached 83, which is also higher than in previous years.

The operations advised cover a wide range of typologies, but the most important are those that for companies are more difficult to grant, such as long-term loans and high amounts, which make it necessary to structure the financing between different financial providers. The knowledge of all the possible alternatives and the coordination work throughout the funding process is the value added that the companies advised by Altria most appreciate. The operations of financing can be moved in the range of 500 000 euros up to 10 million euros.

In the words of Ramiro Lama, partner and head of Finance for Altria Corpo, “the great growth of Altria Corpo reaffirms that it is necessary a service for medium and large companies that solve their financial needs, both debt and capital. The added value that we give to our clients is the knowledge that we have of the wide range of funding that exists and that goes far beyond than that offered by banks, as well as our contribution of value in the analysis and design of the operations in which we collaborate.”

The growing financial disintermediation is widening the options for companies, with more and better financing alternatives for them. However, this large number of options are not known by companies, and that is why they rely on the advice of Altria Corpo to give them access to the best option within this wide range of financial providers that exist today, and which is sure to grow exponentially in the future.

Ramiro Lama and Albert Gumà, partners of Altria Corpo

The firm, founded in 2014 by Albert Gumà and with headquarters in Barcelona, has as clients medium and large sized companies, to which it offers its experience in all kinds of financing by means of debt and equity, and access to more than 120 financial providers among banks, alternative financing, debt funds and other instruments. In its 5 years of existence, Altria Corpo has positioned itself as a referent in the search for financing to medium and large companies, with a cumulative advised amount of more than 180 million and more than 330 operations. The scope of the companies covers the entire Spanish territory, with a concentration in Catalonia, which represents 85% of the total number advised.