Irish Strategic Investment Fund may invest up to €1 billion

Director says pipeline is “strong and growing”

The State-backed Irish Strategic Investment Fund (ISIF) expects to commit between €500 million and €1 billion to projects in the Republic this year.

The agency, responsible for the €7.4 billion left from the National Pension Reserve Fund (NPRF) is weighing up over 100 proposals with the potential to deliver both a cash return and broader benefits such as job creation.

Fund director, Eugene O’Callaghan, said on Wednesday that it expects to commit between €500 million and €1 billion to such projects this year, bringing its overall investment pledges to €2 billion to €2.5 billion.

“The ISIF is building momentum, identifying commercial opportunities and investing in high-quality proposals. Our pipeline is strong and growing,” Mr O’Callaghan pointed out.

He noted that the fund’s pipeline is high quality and spans a cross section of the economy, with interests in infrastructure, technology, property and small business.

“We are greatly encouraged by the quality of many of the proposals that we have seen in the past year,” Mr O’Callaghan added.

The companies in which it has invested to date include recently-floated biotechnology specialist, Malin Corporation, chocolate maker, Lily O'Brien's and software developer, Movidius.

The €7.4 billion in the fund is what was left after the NPRF put €20 billion into the Republic’s banks following the financial crash 2010.

The ISIF, run by the National Treasury Management Agency, was established to use the cash to back projects with the potential to create jobs and deliver a return, but which could not get bank funding because of the general credit squeeze.