I hear Carlyle's State-backed €300 million SME fund, started with €125 million from the National Pension Reserve Fund, will soon close its fundraising drive and announce its first investment. News flow from the fund, which will take equity stakes averaging €20 million in about 15 Irish businesses, will pick up after Christmas. It is run by Carlyle veteran Dr Robert Easton, who declined to comment this week.
Word is, however, that the fund is hungry to hear from owner-manager type businesses with growth potential, which need investment. There should be no shortage of those, given Ireland’s capital famine.
The fund is particularly interested in making investments in the healthcare and TMT (technology, media and telecommunications) sphere. It isn’t just interested in exporters, either, and is willing to look at businesses focused on the domestic market.
Business owners who think they might fit the bill should hang around the Dylan hotel in Ballsbridge, Dublin. I hear that’s where the fund’s manager is based for about half the working week.