Institutional investor buys controlling stake in Lotus Investment

Israeli-based Meitav Dash set to ramp up lending to Irish house builders

Israel-based Meitav Dash Investments has entered the Irish market with a commitment to ramp up the level of non-bank finance available to developers involved in the delivery of new homes.

The company, which has more than €35 billion under management currently, has taken a controlling stake in the Dublin-based Lotus Investment Group, providing it with an immediate platform from which it now intends to exploit the opportunities presented by the ongoing dearth of development finance being extended by traditional bank lenders.

Since its establishment as a non-bank property lender in 2013, Lotus Investment Group has, under the direction of its Dublin-based director, Ian Lawlor. extended more than €350 million in finance to developers and investors active in the Irish market. Those volumes are now set to increase signficantly as a result of the the deal struck between Lotus and Meitav Dash last Thursday.

Commenting on the transaction, Lotus Investment Group chairman David Grin said: "This deal is a recognition of the success of Lotus in Ireland. The developers that we have worked with have delivered over 2,000 homes to date. These same developers would have struggled to secure the necessary funds from the main banks.


‘Welcome news’

"We expect that the entry of Meitav Dash Investments to the market will substantially increase the funds available through Lotus, which will in turn increase the supply of new homes. Given the lack of suitable and affordable properties on the market, this will be welcome news for first-time buyers and those looking to trade up."

Meitav Dash Investments' chief executive Ilan Raviv added: "Having carried out considerable research into the new homes market in Ireland we are confident that demand will continue to outstrip supply in certain locations for some time. A key impediment to supply is the ongoing lack of bank credit, particularly for small to medium-sized developers which make up the majority of house builders in Ireland. We see excellent potential to lend to developer sites that have the capacity to be built out in the short to medium term and that can go some way to satisfying the current undersupply."

Outside of its latest investment in the Irish market, Meitav Dash Investments has assets under management of €35 billion in mutual funds, provident funds, pension funds, managed portfolios and exchange-traded funds (ETFs). It also operates through subsidiaries in non-bank credit, securities trading services (retail and institutional brokerage), and insurance agencies. Meitav Dash is a publicly-listed company on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange, is managed by Ilan Raviv and controlled by BRM Finance and Zvi Stepak.

Ronald Quinlan

Ronald Quinlan

Ronald Quinlan is Acting Property Editor of The Irish Times