DunPort secures €255m for SME fund

The vehicle has received backing from Ireland’s Strategic Investment Fund to support SMEs as the economy recovers from the covid-19 pandemic.

Ireland-based asset manager DunPort has held a first close of its SME credit vehicle at €255 million.

The fund, Oak Corporate Credit, succeeds Elm Corporate Credit, a €283 million vehicle with a similar strategy focused on direct lending to SMEs.

It received a significant €95 million commitment from the Ireland Strategic Investment Fund and is also supported by a number of Irish institutional investors.

Oak will provide debt solutions for lower mid-market companies with earnings between €1 million and €10 million in Ireland and the UK. It will invest in a range of sectors to companies seeking debt to scale their activities through investment and development expenditure, acquisitions, recapitalisations and resolving legacy financing issues.

DunPort was established in 2017 and has a team of 12 investment professionals whose track records includes deploying more than €750 million across 64 transactions with 38 companies.

Pat Walsh, executive director of DunPort, said: “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.”

DunPort said its target market has a large volume of transactions but limited alternative debt providers are operating in the space.

Commenting on the fund launch, Ireland’s minister for finance, Paschal Donohoe, said: “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.”