Germany-based private equity firm Aurelius has launched a debt business.

Aurelius Finance will lend to European businesses unable to access the mainstream banking market.

The new venture will be led by Karun Dhir as managing director. Dhir joined Aurelius earlier this year from US lender Gordon Brothers, where he was investment director. He has also spent time at Lloyds Banking Group and EY. He began his career in finance at Goldman Sachs.

Martin Cryer also joins as investment director. He also worked at Gordon Brothers and before that spent time at GE Capital and Burdale Financial. He began his career in finance in accounting, working at Grant Thornton and Robson Rhodes.

A number of private equity firms have become or have considered becoming lenders in recent years. EQT Partners moved into credit back in 2010, BC Partners did so earlier this year, and Advent International is thought to be considering doing so.