Carlyle Cardinal to invest €292m in Ireland

US equity group launched Irish fund last year with €125 million backing from the NPRF

US equity group Carlyle and its Dublin-based partner Cardinal Capital are set to announce a number of high-profile investments in Ireland in coming months.

The groups have raised €292 million to invest in businesses here via their Carlyle Cardinal Ireland (CCI) fund.

The fund was launched a year ago with €125 million backing from the National Pension Reserve Fund (NPRF).

The aim is to invest in small and medium-sized businesses, possibly by providing equity to companies wishing to refinance their debts.


The fund, which closed last month just short of its €300 million target, is focusing on deals in the technology, media and telecommunications sector as well as healthcare, clean-tech and consumer brands. However, it may also look at more complex finance deals such as buying mortgage- backed securities or other distressed financial assets.

The fund made its first investment earlier this year, taking a majority stake in Kildare-based chocolate manufacturer Lily O’Brien’s in a deal said to be worth €15 million to the company. Several other investments are understood to be in the pipeline.

"This successful fundraising process reflects the promise in the Irish economy," said Robert Easton, head of Carlyle's CCI team.

“Carlyle’s deep industry expertise and Cardinal’s broad local knowledge and Irish market experience will help us find further attractive Irish businesses to partner with,” he added.

Cardinal Capital co-founder Nigel McDermott said: "We are pleased with the international fundraising process, which supports and endorses the investment strategy of our cornerstone investors, the NPRF and Enterprise Ireland. "

Eoin Burke-Kennedy

Eoin Burke-Kennedy

Eoin Burke-Kennedy is Economics Correspondent of The Irish Times