Real estate lender Fortwell Capital has parted ways with Christian Candy’s CPC Group following a management buyout (MBO).
Fortwell has been acquired by its current management, executive director Dan Smith and head of real estate finance Arthur Jennings.
The specialist development lender has lent in excess of £1.2 billion since launching in 2011.
The MBO involves the acquisition of the entire Fortwell platform and brand.
The Fortwell Capital team will continue to manage CPC Group’s existing loan book of around £120 million. CPC Group’s primary focus will remain with its joint venture equity platform, Orlandis Capital.
“Fortwell has been incredibly successful and established a strong platform and reputation as one of the UK’s most successful real estate lenders,” said Christian Candy. “Dan and Arthur’s aspirations for Fortwell are significant and I believe they are extremely well placed to drive Fortwell Capital forward.”
Fortwell said the MBO will enable the business to seek new sources of equity to further grow and expand its loan book.
“It continues to be a difficult market for developers to finance their projects – and as such there is significant demand for development and structured finance,” said Smith.
“That demand – coupled with Fortwell’s proven track record – means we see incredible potential to continue to grow the business and the loan book, especially by partnering with new sources of capital.”
Smith added that the firm is in discussions with a number of potential investors and has plans to further establish Fortwell as “the real estate lender of choice in the UK”.
Smith joined the Fortwell board in 2013 and oversaw the lender’s transition from a small bridging lender into a development and structured finance specialist, focusing on medium-sized loans of £10 to £50 million.
In January, Fortwell lent £60 million to finance three separate development projects and since it began operating in 2011 it has lent in excess of £1.2 billion.
The lender was previously called Omni Capital Partners, but renamed as Fortwell Capital in 2016 because several other businesses operating in the space were also called Omni. It said the new name reflected its transition from a one-product bridging lender into a multi-channel provider service a range of sectors, particularly high value, prime property.
Last month, it was revealed that Fortwell and CPC London were moving from temporary offices to a new Knightsbridge headquarters at 39 Sloane Street.
CPC acquired the firm back in 2013, when it was known as Logical Finance.
CPC, which helped put together luxury apartment block One Hyde Park, was set up in 2004 to develop upmarket residential properties around the world.
The investment was seen as a welcome move by Britain’s struggling high street retailers, who had seen footfall decline as shoppers switched to buying online.
Christian Candy said at the time that there was a lack of lending from mainstream banks, and that new credit would act as an extra incentive for customers and help increase sales for retailers.
He described the acquisition as a “significant step” towards the expansion into new financial service sectors.
DealMakerz thinks Fortwell’s reputation as a leading real estate lender, coupled with the shortage of finance available to developers, paint a positive picture for the firm’s future.
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