Irish funds services firm Carne valued at €400m by private equity deal

Vitruvian, which has backed Just Eat and Skyscanner, taking about 25% stake in firm

Carne Group founder John Donohoe

Carne Group founder John Donohoe

 

Carne Group, a Dublin-based provider of technology solutions to the global funds industry, has been valued at about €400 million by an investment from Vitruvian Partners, a UK private equity firm.

Founded in 2004 by funds industry veteran John Donohoe, Carne has 350 employees in eight locations globally involved in managing the governance, compliance and regulatory requirements for more than 550 of the world’s leading asset managers and institutional investors, with a total of $1 trillion (€820 billion) of money under management.

In addition, its flagship CORR (Compliance Oversight Risk & Reporting) platform is used by asset managers to help oversee $2 trillion in assets.

Carne announced on Wednesday morning that Vitruvian is investing €100 million in the business in exchange for a “minority stake”, subject to regulatory approval. Mr Donohoe confirmed to The Irish Times that the private equity firm is taking “about 25 per cent” of the company, which remains majority owned by the CEO and other managers.

“The valuation placed on the business by the investment isn’t really what’s important to us,” said Mr Donohoe. “This has been led by big clients looking for us to develop more solutions for them. The only constraint was financial resources.”

Carne employs 250 in Dublin, Kilkenny and Wexford. Mr Donohoe said the company will hire “hundreds” of additional staff internationally in the coming years as it continues to develop its product offering.

“We are focused on transforming the asset management industry through our proprietary CORR technology, hiring the best talent globally, and building client led, trusted solutions. In Vitruvian, we found a partner with a shared vision and the experience and intellectual capital to help us bring further innovation to the industry. Together we can build and deliver better outcomes resulting in a win-win for both asset managers and investors.”

London-based Vitruvian is a private equity firm focused on leveraged buyout and growth capital investment in middle-market companies. Founded in 2006, the company has made over 50 investments and its investments to date include online food ordering service Just Eat, cybersecurity firm Darktrace, and Skyscanner, a search engine for low-cost flights and hotel deals.

Overall, Vitruvian has €10 billion in assets under management. Mr Donohoe said one of the attractions of Vitruvian is that the firm is investing through a €4 billion fund raised at the height of the coronavirus pandemic last year and which has a 10-year-plus investment horizon.

Carne was advised by Stephens Europe, Deloitte, and Matheson in the transaction. Vitruvian Partners was advised by KPMG Ireland Corporate Finance, EY, PwC, Oliver Wyman, and Dickson Minto.