Sunday 5 September 2021 – DunPort Capital Management (“DunPort”) is pleased to announce the first close of its €255m SME focused direct lending fund, Oak Corporate Credit DAC (“Oak”). Oak, which succeeds Elm Corporate Credit DAC, a similar €283m fund launched by DunPort in 2017, is backed by a €95m commitment from the Ireland Strategic Investment Fund (“ISIF”) and supported by a number of other domestic institutional investors.
Through the Oak fund, DunPort will target the provision of tailored and flexible debt capital solutions to lower mid-market companies with earnings of between €1m and €10m in Ireland and the UK. Capital from the fund will be deployed in support of established businesses, across a diverse range of sectors, that require debt to fund the scaling of their activities through investment and development expenditure, acquisitions, recapitalisations or to resolve legacy financing issues.
DunPort, which will manage the Oak fund, is the leading provider of non-bank corporate and SME debt capital in the Irish market and an emerging player in the UK lower mid-market. DunPort’s experienced team of twelve investment professionals has a demonstrable track record of lending in the lower mid-market having deployed over €750m of capital across 64 different transactions with 38 companies.
“We are continuing to experience strong and sustained demand from a wide range of advisors and businesses in Ireland and the UK for flexible debt solutions since the establishment of DunPort in 2017,” commented Pat Walsh, Executive Director of DunPort. “Following the successful deployment of capital from our previous credit vehicle, Elm Corporate Credit, we are very pleased to launch this new fund in continued support of SMEs and mid-sized corporates across our core markets. With a healthy pipeline of transactions currently under review, we look forward to building on the strong relationships with our investor base and wider intermediary network to enhance our position as a leading alternative debt capital provider in both Ireland and the UK,” Mr Walsh said.
“At DunPort, we have identified an attractive opportunity in the lower mid-market to invest in well-established businesses with strong risk adjusted returns,” added Ross Morrow, Executive Director of DunPort. “Our targeted niche of the market has a large volume of transactions but with a limited supply of alternative debt capital. This newly launched fund offers borrowers a differentiated capital solution to other potential sources based on speed of response and access to decision makers, certainty of execution and flexibility in our investment process, as well as continuity of relationship management throughout the term of the funding,” Mr Morrow concluded.
“ISIF is already a significant supporter of Irish SMEs, and this fund is another good example of deploying ISIF capital on a commercial basis, in support of Irish businesses that generate important economic activity and employment,” said Nick Ashmore, Director at ISIF. “With the effects of the pandemic still being felt by many businesses, this fund offers an effective support for established businesses to succeed and scale into the future.”
Minister for Finance, Paschal Donohoe, TD said: “By investing in this SME focused direct lending fund, ISIF can leverage private sector investment to support SMEs and mid-sized corporates. As our economy begins to recover from the impact of the pandemic, funds such as this will help to support established businesses by providing the funding that they need to grow. This may prove to be indispensable for some Irish businesses wishing to regain their longer-term momentum.”
DunPort Capital Management DAC (“DunPort”) is a leading Irish asset management company focused on the private debt asset class. Founded in 2017, DunPort provides flexible debt and hybrid capital solutions for SMEs and mid-sized corporates across Ireland and the UK. With an experienced investment team of 12 professionals based in Dublin, DunPort has provided a variety of flexible capital solutions to companies across a broad range of sectors, including KB Associates, Pinewood Laboratories, ESS Modular, Tigers Childcare, Rye River Brewing Company, Dortek, Unity Technology and Walsh Whiskey in Ireland and Wren Sterling, Modern Networks, Cargostore and Sohonet in the UK.
The Ireland Strategic Investment Fund (ISIF), controlled and managed by the National Treasury Management Agency (NTMA), is a flexible, long-term, sovereign investment partner with a unique mandate. The ISIF is comprised of the Discretionary Portfolio and the Directed Portfolio. The Discretionary Portfolio (€8.8 billion) has a statutory mandate to invest on a commercial basis in a manner designed to support economic activity and employment in Ireland.