Ireland’s largest growth capital investor, BGF, is investing €5 million to support the growth of Winterbrook, a family-owned residential house builder based in Dublin. BGF will take a minority stake in the company. The funds will be used to support development activity across the residential, private rental and commercial sectors. BGF expects to provide significant follow-on funding to Winterbrook as further market opportunities arise in the future.
This is the second transaction by BGF in the Republic of Ireland. It follows a recent investment of €10 million in the nursing home operator, Brindley Healthcare (announced January of this year).
Winterbrook was established in 2014 by Francis Rhatigan, a highly experienced property developer with over 40 years of experience in the sector in Ireland and internationally. Francis is joined in the business by his three children, Kate, Anne-Marie and Conor along with a highly skilled team of industry professionals.
Winterbrook has a landbank of sites on hand across prime locations in the wider Dublin region including Foxrock, Enniskerry and Dalkey and is actively considering new site acquisitions. The firm is in the midst of developing a residential site in Foxrock (Westminster Wood) which will launch to the market in May of this year.
Tommy Breen (former CEO of DCC plc) will make a separate investment in the business alongside BGF and will join the Board as Non-Executive Chairman. Leo Casey, Head of BGF in Ireland, will join the Board as a Non-Executive Director.
BGF was set up in 2011 and has invested in more than 230 companies making it the most active equity investor in the UK and Ireland. BGF launched in Ireland in late 2017 and has up to €250 million to invest in growing Irish SMEs. The investors in BGF in Ireland are the Ireland Strategic Investment Fund and the three major banks (AIB, Bank of Ireland and Ulster Bank). BGF is targeting equity investments of between €1 million and €10 million, with further funding available in subsequent rounds.
Leo Casey, Head of BGF in Ireland, said; “We are delighted to take a minority position in Winterbrook and to support the company which is a very successful family-owned business. Everybody understands that housing is a critical infrastructure issue in Ireland at present and quality companies like Winterbrook have an important role to play in addressing this issue. Our focus on only taking minority positions is resonating with a lot of business owners who want the benefits of equity support without losing control. BGF believes in empowering, not replacing, existing owners and their management teams and we look forward to working with the Winterbrook team in the months and years ahead.”
Francis Rhatigan, founder and CEO of Winterbrook, said; “We are very pleased to have secured these investments. They will open up new opportunities as Winterbrook will now have timely access to additional funding when opportunities arise. Capitalising on our capable team and many years of successful home building, we will be actively pursuing new development opportunities and look forward to bringing many more new housing developments to the market.”
Tommy Breen, incoming Chairman said; “Francis Rhatigan and the team in Winterbrook have a long and successful track record of development and construction in the residential and commercial property sectors. Combining their experience with the access to significant capital which BGF is bringing will make Winterbrook a powerful player in the Irish market. I am delighted to become Chairman at this exciting time in the development of the business.”