Buyout of Carroll Cuisine values Tullamore-based firm at €40m

CCI fund backs management buyout ofcooked ham specialist

Private equity group Carlyle Cardinal Ireland (CCI) has agreed the final terms of its management buyout of Tullamore-based Carroll Cuisine, which values the cooked ham and ready meal specialist at an estimated €40 million.

The deal will see the company's existing management team, headed by chief executive Kieran Carolan, acquire Swiss-Irish food giant Aryzta's stake in the business.

Under the terms of the deal, Carlyle director Jonathan Cosgrave and Cardinal director John Dolan will join the board of Carroll Cuisine, which employs 150 staff.

The buyout, which keeps the company’s existing management team in place, represents the CCI fund’s fourth significant investment since its launch in 2013.


The deal, the exact terms of which are not being released, is expected to close in the second quarter of this year.

The CCI fund, which is backed by the State's Ireland Strategic Investment Fund to the tune of €125 million, recently acquired Payzone Ireland from buyout firm Duke Street in a deal valuing the epayments group at €30-€40 million.

It has also made investments in the Kildare-based chocolate manufacturer Lily O'Brien's, and General Secure Logistics Services, a Dublin-based cash-in-transit business.

“As the largest equity investment fund in the Irish market coupled with extensive experience working with branded food companies both within Ireland and internationally, CCI is the ideal partner to support the future growth of the business,” Mr Carolan said.

Mr Cosgrave, said: “Carroll Cuisine is a great example of the type of high quality business CCI seeks to invest in - a proven company driven by a brand with a unique heritage and consumer appeal, and with a track record of growth and innovation.”

Mr Dolan said: “The food sector is a core focus for our investment fund. We see this as a first step in building a larger company with a broader portfolio of chilled food businesses in Ireland.”

Hilliard Lombard, chief executive of Aryzta Europe and Asia Pacific, said considerable investment in the company over recent years has enabled the brand to expand its presence in existing and new markets, increasing sales in the process.

Eoin Burke-Kennedy

Eoin Burke-Kennedy

Eoin Burke-Kennedy is Economics Correspondent of The Irish Times