Fortwell Capital

Fortwell enters Irish lending market

Principal lender Fortwell Capital has launched a major initiative to support development activities in the Republic of Ireland.

This was started in partnership with Dublin-based real estate investment, development and finance specialist Warren Private, with whom Fortwell will work to source and underwrite construction finance deals in Ireland.

The news coincides with the completion a new €21m (approximately £18m) construction loan to Red Rock Developments Ltd, Fortwell’s first loan outside the UK.

The company will use the funding to power the development of its inaugural hotel, a 113-bedroom scheme on Gloucester Street in the heart of Dublin’s central business district, pre-let to Premier Inn and offering panoramic views of the River Liffey and Dublin City.

Keith Craddock, founder and managing director of Red Rock Developments, said: “Fortwell and Warren Private’s teams demonstrated expertise on both the finance and property side to close this transaction. 

“They showed a complete understanding of the development market and our specific model. 

“Fortwell’s execution processes is exceptionally efficient, and the team was a pleasure to work with, enabling us to swiftly deliver on our promise of bringing a brilliant new hotel to Dublin’s tourist centre, adding to the many iconic landmarks on the city’s skyline.”

Fortwell aims to emulate its rapid growth in the UK debt sector in Ireland, and seeks to establish a €300m (£257m) loan book.

The lender will offer loans between €10m (£8.5m) and €50m (£42.8m) to support the purpose-built residential, retirement living, care home and commercial sectors, identifying experienced developers requiring leverage of up to 75% LTV or 85% LTC.

This follows the recent upsizing of Fortwell Capital’s UK credit line with Cain International from £400m to £500m. 

The investment firm is also supporting Fortwell on its Irish strategy.

Dan Smith, CEO at Fortwell Capital, commented: “We identified a clear and present need for Fortwell’s product in the Irish market, and are taking this opportunity to propel our next phase of growth in line with Ireland’s national objectives to accelerate development activity over the long term.  

“We have been considering European expansion for some time, and Ireland was always our initial objective given its robust market and strong legal framework. 

“The residential sector will be a particular area of focus for Fortwell, with current housing shortages high on Ireland’s policy agenda.

“We are also assessing a number of interesting opportunities in the later living and commercial sectors.”

David Kelleher, principal at Warren Private, added: “We are delighted to partner with Fortwell Capital to provide construction loans to the Irish residential and commercial real estate sectors. 

“We believe that combining Warren Private’s local knowledge with Fortwell’s construction lending expertise will create a strong offering for the Irish market and will enable the partnership to grow a substantial lending platform in the short to medium term. 

“Our experience is that Fortwell is an excellent partner due to its client-focussed, proactive and entrepreneurial approach to real estate lending.”

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