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DunPort closes Irish SME fund on €335m

The Dublin-based firm has already invested €80m from the vehicle, which targets SME lending in Ireland and the UK.

DunPort Capital Management, the Dublin-based manager, has closed its Oak Corporate Credit Fund on €335 million.

The fund received €95 million from the Irish Strategic Investment Fund – Ireland’s sovereign development fund – and €70 million from the European Investment Fund. The remaining capital came from unnamed domestic and international institutional investors.

The EIF commitment is described by DunPort in a press release as the first diversified debt fund investment made in Ireland by the organisation. The commitment is backed by the pan-European Guarantee Fund, part of the European Union’s €540 billion package to address the economic impact of covid.

The Oak fund was launched in July 2021 and DunPort has since put around €80 million of the capital to work in Ireland and the UK. This means that, since inception in 2017, DunPort has deployed a total of €430 million in 37 companies.

The fund provides debt capital solutions for lower mid-market companies with earnings of between €1 million and €10 million. It supports established businesses across diverse sectors that require debt to scale up their activities through investment and development, acquisitions, recapitalisations and the resolution of legacy financing issues.

“Our targeted niche of the market has a large volume of transactions but with a limited supply of alternative debt capital,” said Ross Morrow, executive director of DunPort, in the press release.

DunPort was launched by Pat Walsh and Ross Morrow, former senior executives at BlueBay Asset Management who established the first private debt platform in Ireland in 2013. The firm has 12 professionals in total.

The firm’s first fund, Elm Corporate Credit, closed on €283 million in 2018.