A new Dublin-based company, backed by Irish businessman Richard Barrett and New York-based investment group Avenue Capital, has launched here a € 200million fund for commercial real estate loans over a period of seven years.
Called Real Estate Loan Management (Relm) Finance, it is part of the Bartra group of companies owned by Mr Barrett, co-founder of former real estate developer Treasury Holdings.
It is led by three experienced former executives of AIB: Managing Director Paul Dowling, Origination Director Armand Lako and David Renwick, its Chief Risk Officer. All three are shareholders of the company which has eight employees.
The new fund was smoothly launched a few weeks ago and has already approved around € 30 million in loans to various parties. These include a pub in Dublin, a residential building outside the capital and a commercial unit.
It will be officially launched today and will lend between 1 and 25 million euros for a term of five years, with interest rates generally starting at around 6% per annum. A maximum loan-to-value ratio of 80 percent will be applied to loans.
Relm plans to provide new loans to businesses, businesses and investors across Ireland and across all asset classes, including housing, office, retail and hospitality.
This is the first fund offered by the company, which is confident it will expand its loans in the future.
Relm plans to provide loan decisions to clients within four days, and withdraw the money in full four to five weeks after approval. He launched an app, called Penny check, to help clients determine how much loan they might be entitled to.
All loans issued by Relm will be non-recourse for the debtor, secured primarily by real estate assets.
Mr Dowling said Relm’s business model would be “risk averse” and provide a number of “distinct advantages” to real estate investors here.
“We will lend on appropriate investments all over the country and this will strongly contribute to economic growth and development,” he said. “Clients will benefit from a streamlined system from initial request to full withdrawal of funds, providing high levels of certainty for their investment process. ”
Avenue’s other Irish investments include supporting Cork property developer Michael O’Flynn to gain control of his business in Ireland from Blackstone (Nama sold his loans to the company).