Non-bank lender Capitalflow has merged with property-focused peer BBF Capital Partners to beef up its real estate division, the Sunday Independent can reveal.

The deal will mean Capitalflow can offer term loans and bridging finance to Irish property investors.

Capitalflow is now aiming to finance as much as €20m in property investments in Q1 and at least €100m by the year end.

The businesses joined forces last month and since then the combined entity has financed the recent acquisition of Oranmore Town Centre, a shopping centre in Galway.

Capitalflow chief executive Ronan Horgan said the deal would enable it to provide a broader range of products. “Business owners looking to invest in property as an asset, or indeed needing to refinance from the international funds, now have another new option in the marketplace,” Horgan said.

Set up in 2016, the business already provided invoice discounting, leasing, hire purchase, refinancing and asset-based lending services.

It has provided around €100m to more than 900 customers.

Horgan is the former managing director in Ireland of Bibby Financial Services.

BBF is led by a team of executives including Colum Breslin, Shane Flood and Philip Browne. This team is now joining the merged entity.

“Combining the talent and expertise of BBF Capital Partners and Capitalflow will allow the company to become a real partner to Irish businesses, with a comprehensive offering to address their financial needs,” Breslin said.

He is taking up the post of head of commercial real estate.”This is a sector which has, in the past, been challenged in terms of sourcing finance yet can be credited with providing and creating significant employment in Ireland,” he added. BBF has typically focused on bridging finance – short-term loans – providing facilities between €250,000 and €5m.

It was set up in 2014 and has provided more than €40m to businesses across the country.

Capitalflow is owned by London private-equity firm Pollen Street Capital.

Originally part of RBS, Pollen Street was spun out into a separate business in 2014. Capitalflow also has an office in Belfast.

The business is aiming to capitalise on a growing trend of Irish businesses looking to obtain capital from non-bank providers.

Full story here.