Ortus lending power boosted to £60m

The firm has been boosted by an additional £20m of commitments from investors to its UK lending business, which has a particular focus on the leisure market.

UK-based commercial lender Ortus has secured an additional £20 million (€23.5 million; $26.4 million) in funding.

It brings the firm’s total lending firepower to £60 million at the closing of its second funding round announced today. The latest boost included a £5 million commitment from a real estate investor the firm declined to name in its statement.

Launched in February, Ortus targets investments in UK businesses, specifically the leisure sector, and is in the process of increasing its exposure three-fold to the Northern Irish commercial property market by the end of next year.

Jon Salisbury, managing director at Ortus, said the increased commitments from investors is a result of seeking to take advantage of the opportunities to lend following the UK’s vote to leave the European Union in June. As a result of the vote, parts of the UK market have been unable to tap into financing from banks, the firm said.

“Many of the businesses are suffering as a result of the credit slowdown instigated by the UK’s decision to leave the EU. Our fund is equity-funded – and not based on bank funding lines – and we have therefore been able to absorb the shock waves caused by Brexit in a way that bank-backed bridging funds and other lenders have not,” he said.

In April, Ortus announced its intention to lend more into the leisure industry and had arranged more than £50 million worth of lending agreements to the sector in the first quarter of 2016.

Established in 2013, Ortus arranges secured lending, distressed debt and private equity transactions.