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Alternative lender funding across the asset classes

What: Westbrooke is building up a UK loan book
Why: Alternative lending platform has increased its deal flow to more than £120m in past year
What next: It is targeting mezzanine positions across the asset classes

Westbrooke, an alternative asset management firm, has ramped up its real estate lending business in the UK with more than £120m of loans issued in the past year, React News can reveal.

The group, which is headquartered in South Africa and has a London office, recently backed a student asset in Coventry with a £21.5m loan and participated in the £33m refinance of Fort Dunlop – a large mixed-use scheme in Birmingham.

Westbrooke has now been involved in more than £170m of UK lending deals in the past year, taking its aggregate real estate lending since inception to north of £350m.

The group, which primarily focuses on financing solutions in the 55% to 70% tranche of the capital stack, is sector-agnostic. Its UK book includes loans secured against commercial and residential assets, as well as operating assets including film studios, leisure assets and holiday parks.

UK team
Westbrooke’s UK business is run by managing director Richard Asherson, with James Lightbody heading the real estate team. The firm’s investment committee includes several big hitters from the UK debt world, including Tim Vaughan, formerly a managing director at Brotherton, and Paul Stevens, who was formerly head of Investec Property and co-founder of ASK Partners.

Lightbody said: “We see many shifts in this market – interest rates move, borrower requirements change, and of course the various pockets within real estate are very different. In this context, we believe we are well positioned to add value to borrowers through the availability of permanent capital, a tried-and-tested investment model and our flexibility as a private credit provider.”

Asherson added: “I am very proud of the business we have built in the UK private credit market over the past seven years. We have a strong team of investment professionals that understand the landscape and are dedicated to delivering value to our borrowers through applying the Westbrooke investment and risk philosophy.”

Source: ReactNews

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