Ortus Secured Finance launches new GBP40m fund to lend to UK Leisure Industry

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Ortus Secured Finance has raised a new fund to lend GBP40 million to businesses across the UK, with a particular focus on both the UK leisure sector and Northern Irish commercial property space.

The fund will specialise in lending to pubs, hotels and nightclubs across the UK which require short-term finance, for instance to help them cover costs incurred through sudden spikes in demand, or for bridging loans to provide interim capital while they re-finance.
The fund will have an additional focus on commercial property in Northern Ireland, where Ortus Secured Finance first launched operations at the end of last year, with the refinancing of a very substantial property portfolio in Belfast.
Richard Beenstock, CEO at Ortus Secured Finance, says: “This new fund will help bridge the lending gap in what has remained a very underserved part of the market since the credit crunch. Many UK leisure businesses are still struggling to secure the funding they need from traditional high street banks.”
“The leisure industry, from pubs to restaurants, is going through a period of rapid change and those operators that cannot secure competitive finance are going to be at a substantial disadvantage. Customers’ expectations are such that if a business in this sector cannot make the capital investment they need to then their trade will suffer.”
“Commercial property across Northern Ireland will be another key focus. We are one of the few lenders who have a strong appetite to lend to there, but we believe there are plenty of good opportunities to provide finance.”
“The Northern Irish economy is performing well and its recovery is well underway. It may be a few steps behind some other areas of the UK but there is plenty of room for further economic growth.”
Ortus Secured Finance was launched in 2013 by former executives of Kaupthing Singer & Friedlander and is focused on short term secured lending across the leisure sector, specifically to pubs, bars and hotels. It also works across the commercial and residential property investment sectors.
Ortus Secured Finance provides finance for a wide range of funding requirements in the leisure sector, including:
Pub owners who want to invest in kitchen equipment to improve their food offering or enter the ‘gastropub’ market
Established pub managers looking to acquire their first pub
People entering pub ownership as a post-retirement lifestyle
Purchases and extensions of hotels, guesthouses and nightclubs
Refurbishment of pubs, bars, clubs and restaurants including furnishings, lighting, payment systems, and workstations
Investors in the fund include institutional investors, family offices and High Net Worths, from both the UK and overseas.
Adds Richard Beenstock: “Leisure businesses often require short-term, short-notice borrowing to enable them to capitalise on new business opportunities. More traditional, longer-term loans might not be a viable option - or may take too long to secure.”
“Getting the right lending at the right time remains crucial if businesses are to reach their potential, but this can take months to access via traditional banking routes.”