State and private equity-backed Irish SME fund closes out at €135m

MML’s latest fund includes backing from Isif, AIB and Cigna

A private equity company that invests in Irish SMEs has closed out its latest fund at €135 million, after receiving backing from State and private investors.

MML Growth Capital Partners, led by its partners Rory Quirke and Neil McGowan, attracted investment for its Fund 2 from the State via the Irish Strategic Investment Fund (Isif), AIB, the European Investment Fund, GoldPoint Partners, British Business Investments and US health group Cigna.

The firm says it has already invested €125 million in Irish SMEs since it was set up in 2013. And it has already begun to deploy cash from its Fund 2, with backing for companies including Irish HomeCare, a Monaghan care provider; and Kyte Powertech, a Cavan manufacturer of power transformers.

Portfolio of investments

In total, it has made 15 investments from its Fund 1 and Fund 2, with others in its portfolio including Travel Department, Prim-Ed Publishing, Agenda Communications, Sonas Bathrooms, Innovu Insurance and Fastway Couriers.


The fund managers say it is able to provide financing to Irish SMEs for expansion, acquisitions, recapitalisations, management buyouts and shareholder buyouts.

“We have always believed that there are many high-quality businesses in Ireland which, with appropriate investment and a good ownership structure, can grow and develop based on their inherent potential and the enterprise of management,” said Mr McGowan.

New markets

“The trigger for many management teams has been to reshape and transition ownership, refinance debt, invest in organic and acquisitive growth opportunities and open new markets.”

MML says it makes investments of between €5 million and €15 million in each company. Its portfolio of companies employs more than 3,000 workers, it says, and has combined revenues of €400 million.

Isif, which is controlled by the State's National Treasury Management Agency, said it believes the new fund "will help support the growth and recovery of SMEs as indigenous businesses emerge from the Covid-19 crisis".

Mark Paul

Mark Paul

Mark Paul is London Correspondent for The Irish Times