Finance Ireland aims to raise €230m in funding

Funds to be used to ‘fuel growth in SME lending’ and ‘build out’ agri-leasing activities

Irish financial services group Finance Ireland is seeking to raise €230 million in debt and equity funding to spur its future growth. The privately owned company, which is led by former Irish Permanent chief executive Billy Kane, is seeking to raise €30 million in equity and €200 million in debt funding.

Mr Kane told The Irish Times that the funding would be used to "fuel growth in SME lending" and "build out" its agri-leasing activities. The company is being advised by Goodbody Stockbrokers and hopes to complete the fundraising by the end of this summer, with international groups expected to provide the finance.

Latest accounts for Finance Ireland show that its net revenues rose by 66 per cent to just more than €13 million in 2014 while its pre-tax profit rose by 75 per cent to €3.7 million. This followed strong growth across all of its areas of business.

Motor finance comprised €2.1 million of its profit last year, with debt purchase and recovery accounting for €1.3 million, and other activities, including film finance, some €244,000. The company closed the year with €8.2 million in cash and €14.1 million in shareholders’ equity.


The motor finance business is in its fourth year of trading and acts as an exclusive agent of Close Motor Finance UK. It generated €117 million in new business last year, to take its portfolio size to €166 million.

The company closed the year with a 10 per cent share of the Irish motor market and is aiming to double this in the “next couple of years”.

Its debt purchase and recovery company, called Everyday Group, partnered with US-based CarVal Investors to acquire the €240 million Friends First Finance portfolio in February 2014. Everyday provides collection services on the portfolios and increased its assets under management to more than €550 million by the end of last year.

Finance Ireland was also the biggest provider of finance to film projects in Ireland in 2014. It helped to finance 37 projects with a value of €40 million by providing personal loans to more than 800 investors participating in S481 tax relief film investments.

In addition, the company established a wholly owned subsidiary called Everyday Asset Management, which acquired the Irish loan book of CIT Group Finance (Ireland).

The portfolio of performing loans had a book value of €7.5 million and more than 1,200 lease contracts with multinationals, MSEs, schools and professional bodies. The group also provided €800,000 of short-term finance to car rental operators.

Mr Kane said Finance Ireland was having another "good year" but profits would be "flat" due to an investment in additional executives and other overheads. This included the recruitment of Ken Murnaghan, who of head of business banking in Ulster Bank.

Finance Ireland added 30 staff during the year to bring its workforce total to 84. Staff costs rose by 49 per cent to just more than €5 million while the salaries and fees paid to directors and key management rose by 44 per cent to €1.3 million.

The accounts also state that Everyday Finance Ltd, another subsidiary of Finance Ireland, acquired a 41 per cent shareholding in Ship Property Trading Company (Two) Ltd, which is engaged in "residential reversionary interests". The Ship shares were acquired from Mr Kane for €200,000.