Dan Smith leads management buyout of Christian Candy’s Fortwell Capital

By James Wallace - Friday, April 13, 2018 8:49

Christian Candy’s CPC Group has sold Fortwell Capital, the alternative and specialist development lender, to the management team led by Dan Smith, executive director, and Arthur Jennings, head of real estate finance.

Fortwell has been operating since 2011 and since then has lent in excess of £1.2bn.

The management buyout involved the acquisition of the entire Fortwell platform and brand. As part of the deal, the Fortwell Capital team will continue to manage CPC Group’s existing loan book of circa £120m.

The management buy-out will enable Fortwell Capital to seek new sources of equity to further grow the business and expand the loan book, a statement said this morning.

Dan Smith joined the board of the company in 2013 and oversaw Fortwell’s transition from a small ticket bridge lender into a development and structured finance specialist, focusing on medium sized loans of £10m to £50m.

The restructure of the business also saw Fortwell expand its capability across multiple sectors, establishing a niche targeting residential developers initially in London and later UK-wide.

Smith said: “It continues to be a difficult market for developers to finance their projects – and as such there is significant demand for development and structured finance. That demand, coupled with Fortwell’s proven track record means we see incredible potential to continue to grow the business and the loan book, especially by partnering with new sources of capital.

“We are in discussions with a number of potential investors at the moment and are excited by this opportunity to further establish Fortwell as the real estate lender of choice in the UK.”

Following the management buy-out, CPC Group’s primary focus will remain with their Joint Venture equity platform Orlandis Capital.

Christian Candy said: “Fortwell has been incredibly successful and established a strong platform and reputation as one of the UK’s most successful real estate lenders. Dan and Arthur’s aspirations for Fortwell are significant and I believe they are extremely well placed to drive Fortwell Capital forward.”

James Wallace is a freelance consultant and can be reached via Linkedin or email: jawallace32@gmail.com

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