Impetum Group launched Agista, the first investment fund in Romania focused on AeRO, helping local SMEs to get listed on the stock market, financing and accelerating their increase through the capital market.
Agista sets out with a €25 million capitalization, nearly half of the entire capital raised by the AeRO market companies in 2021, and is planning to invest in 20 local companies in the next two years, out of the 150 to be analysed.
Agista is launched at a time when, although there is money in the market, €33.5 billion total in bank deposits owned by individuals*, none of it reaches any of the companies in need of it and the equity financing deficit of SMEs is €4.64 billion. If only 1% of the capital available in bank deposits were to enter the capital market annually, it would have a significant impact in covering this deficit.
In recent years, the Bucharest Stock Exchange has experienced a development correlated with our efforts and those of the entire community to stimulate the use of the capital market for financing Romanian companies. From this perspective, the AeRO market has had an essential role in bringing us even closer to the entrepreneurs and their developing companies, and last year’s evolution, as well as 2022 – Q1, is tangible proof in this regard. We are talking about 27 companies listed on AeRO, drawing in €70 million in capital, and another 27 bond issues worth €63.1 million. The positive evolution of the AeRO market is also reflected in the launch of the first index dedicated to this market, BET AeRO, and the establishment of the first investment fund dedicated to the AeRO market by Impetum Group is yet another step towards consolidating it as a growth market for SMEs, stated Radu Hanga, President of the Bucharest Stock Exchange.
In contrast to the limitations and difficulties faced by SMEs in terms of traditional financing, the capital market provides attractive mechanisms for accessing the financing needed 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 financing through the capital market.
The experience and practice within the Impetum Group community have taught us that when businesses manage to scale their success in a sustainable manner, it has a positive impact on the entire society. It is precisely for the purpose of bearing a hand to the education and maturity of the Romanian capital market, that we have created, through Agista, a first Romanian institutional instrument, dedicated to robust companies, wishing to develop through listing on the local stock exchange. A solid economy needs healthy companies which should perform efficiently whilst supporting development. We believe in the Romanian economy and we are acting in this respect, stated Andrei Cionca, Impetum Group CEO and co-founder.
What is Agista going to do?
The core business will consist of PRE-IPO investments, as well as listed shares of companies showing potential. More than just a capital investor, Agista will be an active partner that provides complementary expertise to Romanian entrepreneurs in order to accelerate their businesses and to open access to a relevant business ecosystem.
Agista will act as an anchor investor, with an aim to hold minority packages in companies with a turnover of €3-15 million. The investment ticket will be €500,000 – 2.5 million, and Agista will act from a strategic place, at board level, in terms of company development, said Nicolae Kovacs, Agista CEO.
The Agista Team
Agista Management was registered as an alternative investment fund manager on 10 March 2022, and the fund is currently undergoing authorization by the ASF.
The executive team consists, together with the CEO, of consummate professionals in the capital market, with complementary skills and expertise: Nicolas Pleșea – Senior Investment Manager, active in the financial field for 15 years, and Aurel Podariu – Senior Investment Manager, 14 years of experience in the management of companies in difficulty, but also in business development. Besides, Agista receives the experience and synergies of Impetum Group, which will be valorised for all our partner companies.
In order to support entrepreneurs, Agista will develop an acceleration program dedicated to small businesses. Through this program, Agista will support small companies in accelerating their managerial skills and abilities, in an entrepreneurial spirit and a practical way.
Starting today, Agista joins Impetum Group’s mission to develop a new entrepreneurial culture based on access to the capital market.