MML Capital Partners Ireland (MML), an Enterprise Ireland-backed fund, has invested up to €12 million in Identigen, a food-tracing business, to give it control in the company in partnership with its management.
Sources say that some of MML's investment was used to buy out several minority stakes including the 28 per cent held by Yeoman Capital, an investment fund controlled by financier Paul Coulson.
The rest of the cash will be used to fund a growth plan for Identigen, which has developed a tracing system to keep track of the source of edible products, such as meat, as they move through the food supply chain.
“The investment from MML will facilitate the next phase of Identigen’s ambitious growth plans,” said the company.
Dublin-headquartered Identigen, which employs about 60 staff, said the company expects to double job numbers over the next three years.
Ciaran Meghen and Ronan Loftus, the founders of Identigen, said the investment comes as the company "opens up new markets and opportunities for our DNA TraceBack product".
“[MML] has great experience of supporting management teams growing value in their businesses and we look forward to implementing our growth plans with their support,” they said.
Neil McGowan, investment director with MML, said the fund is “ very much looking forward to working with the team to help achieve Identigen’s next phase of growth”.
Grant Thornton advised MML on the deal, while Identigen's financial adviser was BDO Corporate Finance, the advisory arm of the Dublin-headquartered firm of accountants. Maples & Calder and Mason, Hayes & Curran provided legal advice.
Recent filings for the company indicate that, last week, several minority backers of the company resigned as directors of Identigen.
Roger McCarrick, the former owner of Rangeland Meats who owned 17 per cent, resigned on April 16th, as did 10 per cent shareholder Patrick Cunningham, who is a Trinity professor and was a former chief scientific advisor to the Government.