Bridging loan provider on track to lend £100m in its maiden year

Andrew Ward, left, and Adrian Hogan

A bridging loan provider, which was set up almost a year ago, has recorded strong lending figures.

Bergen Finance launched last December and has lent £30m in its initial six months of trading. It was created by Arrow Global, the Manchester-based European investor and alternative asset manager in credit and real estate.

It has now almost doubled its deals value, lending £29m in the third quarter alone, including seeing the completion of its largest transaction so far. With transactions approved and in legals, Bergen has expectations to close more than £100m in first year of trading.

The business provides real estate-backed loans to a diverse range of corporate borrowers across the UK. After completing 11 deals between January and June 2022, it has now lent £59m in 2022 to date in deals across the UK.

Having been established to fill a need for short-term real estate lends which may not fit the strict criteria of traditional high street lenders, Bergen Finance’s ability to provide businesses loans of between £500,000 and £50m, is proving an attractive proposition.

Managing director, Andrew Ward, who has many years of experience in the sector, said: “We are finding that there are many viable businesses out there requiring finance, whether for growth and acquisition opportunities or for short term cash flow, who, despite having significant land and property assets, are struggling to secure funding from traditional lenders.

“As we are backed by Arrow Global, a leading European investor and alternative asset manager, we have substantial funds behind us and are able to be more flexible and agile. We have proved able to support SMEs across England and Scotland, particularly for loans of £5m-plus. We are also receiving a large number of enquiries from Ireland and are currently looking at a number of deals there.”

Director, Adrian Hogan, said: “The business has got off to a really strong start and we are very quickly establishing a name for ourselves as an independent lender that is able to respond swiftly, working across all sectors and areas of the UK and Ireland.

“Increasingly, we are seeing finance brokers and debt advisory businesses coming to us to introduce deals on behalf of clients in non-standard lending situations, knowing that we are not constrained by the rigid mandates of an outside funder.

“We are already well on our way to reaching our target of investing more than £100m in our inaugural year of trading, and we are now planning to grow the team to enable us to continue to deploy our funds to meet the rapid timescale needed by many businesses.”

Max Lewis, of Arrow Global, said: “Bergen Finance has gained real traction with borrowers. Bergen’s reliability and ability to finance more complex deals, is gaining increasing market traction, especially at a time where market conditions are volatile and other lenders are becoming increasingly unreliable.”