Impetum Group, a fast-growing Romanian financial group, has launched Agista, the first investment fund in Romania focused on helping local SMEs get listed on the stock exchange. Over the next two years, the fund aims to finance around 20 local small and medium-sized enterprises and accelerate their growth by listing them on the AeRO market of the Bucharest Stock Exchange. Agista launches with a market capitalization of €25 million, nearly half of all capital raised by companies in the AeRO market in 2021.

Through this fund, Impetum Group aims to bridge the vast cash resources of the local market – 33.5 billion euros of bank deposits held by individuals – with the equity financing gap of local SMEs, which is estimated at 4.64 billion euros. If only 1% of the capital available in bank deposits were to enter the capital market annually, this would have a significant impact on covering this deficit, according to group representatives.

“In recent years, the Bucharest Stock Exchange has experienced a development correlated with our efforts and those of the whole community to stimulate the use of the capital market for the financing of Romanian companies. From this point of view, the AeRO market has had a vital role in bringing us even closer to entrepreneurs and their developing companies, and the evolution of last year, as well as 2022 – Q1, is tangible proof of this. We are talking about 27 companies listed on AeRO, with a capital of 70 million euros, and 27 other bond issues worth 63.1 million euros,” said Radu Hanga, president of the Bucharest Stock Exchange. .

He added: “The positive development of the AeRO market is also reflected in the launch of the first index dedicated to this market, BET AeRO, and the creation of the first investment fund dedicated to the AeRO market by Impetum Group is a further step towards consolidate it as a growth market for SMEs.

Contrary to the limitations and difficulties encountered by SMEs in traditional financing, the capital market offers attractive mechanisms to access the financing necessary to generate the envisaged growth. However, capital market instruments do not enjoy the popularity they deserve among companies: 60% of managers know “little” or “very little” about BSE and its activity, and only 12% have access to a capital market financing.

“Experience and practice within the Impetum Group community has taught us that when companies manage to scale their success in a sustainable way, it has a positive impact on society as a whole. It is precisely in the aim of contributing to the education and maturity of the Romanian capital market, that we have created, through Agista, the first Romanian institutional instrument dedicated to robust companies wishing to grow through listing on the local stock exchange,” said Andrei Cionca, CEO and co-founder of Impetum Group.

Andrei Cionca – CEO and co-founder Impetum Group

Agista’s core business will be PRE-IPO investments, as well as listed shares of companies with potential. The fund will also provide complementary expertise to Romanian entrepreneurs to accelerate their activities and open access to a relevant business ecosystem.

“Agista will act as an anchor investor, with the aim of holding minority packages in companies with a turnover of 3 to 15 million euros. The investment ticket will be €500,000 to €2.5 million, and Agista will act from a strategic place, at board level, in terms of business development,” said Nicolae Kovacs, CEO of Agista.

Agista Management was registered as an alternative investment fund manager on March 10, 2022, and the fund is currently in the process of being authorized by the financial regulator – ASF.

The management team includes Nicolas Pleșea – Senior Investment Manager, active in the financial field for 15 years, and Aurel Podariu – Senior Investment Manager, with 14 years of experience in the management of companies in difficulty, but also in the development commercial.

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Nicolae Kovacs – Agista CEO

Agista also plans to develop an accelerator program dedicated to small businesses. Through this program, Agista will support small businesses in accelerating their managerial skills and abilities, in an entrepreneurial spirit and in a practical way.

From today, Agista joins Impetum Group’s mission to develop a new entrepreneurial culture based on access to the capital market.

Impetum Group, which grew around one of Romania’s largest insolvency houses – CITR, became an active investor in Romanian companies from 2018 when it launched its first investment fund focused on distressed companies and private equity investments – ROCA. A year later, she launched RocaX, a venture capital fund targeting local startups. So far, the group has raised and invested around 42 million euros in more than 40 companies.

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(Photo source: the company)