Private Equity

An essential source of alternative growth capital in the Irish market.
An essential source of alternative growth capital in the Irish market.

In a pioneering move, Ireland’s first and largest mid-market private equity fund, the €292m Carlyle Cardinal Ireland (CCI) Fund, was launched in 2013.

Co-sponsored by Cardinal Capital and The Carlyle Group, CCI successfully combines Cardinal’s experience, working relationships and local knowledge with Carlyle’s network and global track record. Investing in small and medium high-growth enterprises (SMEs) as well as in mid-market businesses, it is Ireland’s largest private equity investment fund dedicated to investing in Irish companies.

Our Investment Strategy

Investment activity in the Irish private equity market is vibrant, with a broad range of investment opportunities underpinned by a diverse and rapidly growing economy and population.

Dedicated to investing in small and medium high growth enterprises (SMEs) and mid-market businesses in Ireland, our objective is to generate value through the growth of our equity investments. We are particularly interested in talking to founder owners, family businesses and management teams of large corporates (MBO/carve-outs) seeking capital either for expansion or liquidity.

Multi Sector Investment

The key attributes of investee companies include:

  • Experienced and motivated management teams with proven track record and ambitious growth plans
  • Strong product offering and competitive market position
  • Market opportunity with multiple opportunities for growth
  • Profitable and cash generative
  • Opportunity for us to make a significant difference through our network and our access to capital, expertise and influence

Our Competitive Advantage

We are a compelling partner for Irish companies, driving growth through competitive advantages that include:

  • Scale – as Ireland’s leading brand and reputation as the No.1 indigenous provider of private equity in the Irish market we have the size and scope to provide both initial and follow-on capital to support organic and acquisition focused initiatives
  • Dedication – we are an experienced Irish-based investment team providing the strategic, financial and operational support essential to achieving long-term goals and value creation
  • Connectivity – our local and international industry expertise and connectivity will accelerate growth and commercial opportunity

Selected Portfolio Companies

Cardinal PE Team

Our team has unparalleled experience having successfully managed and invested in global businesses across a broad range of sectors

Call us today to discuss your equity requirements and arrange a confidential discussion with one of our investment executives.
Contact us

In The News

Carlyle Cardinal Ireland Invests in The City Bin Co.

CCI’s 11th investment in the Irish market

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Carlyle Cardinal Ireland Invests in Sports Surgery Clinic

Specialist orthopaedic & sports medicine Hospital to focus on continued Growth of patient services and facilities

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Carlyle Cardinal Ireland Sells GSLS to STAR Capital

Founded in 2004 GSLS has grown to become one of the most advanced secure logistics companies in the Irish market.

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Colian Holdings SA Completes Acquisition of Lily O’Brien’s

Based in Kildare and founded in 1992 by Mary Ann O’Brien in the kitchen of her home, Lily O’Brien’s today employs 120 people at its Newbridge plant.

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Private Equity FAQ

As you consider partnering with an equity investor, you will likely have a number of questions. To give you a helping hand, we have listed some of the queries most frequently raised by owners who are considering private equity.

What is private equity?

Private equity is a way of receiving an investment in your company in exchange for some or all of the company’s equity (it’s shares). Private equity funds typically provide capital and specific expertise to companies in return for creating longer term shareholder value which benefits all the owners of the equity.

What type of deals does your private equity fund support?

We have been helping Irish business owners realise their personal and professional goals for over 10 years. Whether you want to sell your business, sell part of your business or take on additional capital to accelerate the growth of your business, we can help. We don’t just provide money either, we have an experienced team with local and international connections that will work with you in different ways to help you and your company achieve your ambitions, be it helping to find the right people to compliment your team or developing a market strategy to accelerate growth.

Can private equity help me acquire another company?

The short answer is yes! If your business has the potential to grow in either new markets or by acquiring complementary companies then private equity can be an excellent source of capital to accelerate that strategy. We provide both the capital and expertise to help make an acquisition as successful as possible.

What are the characteristics you look for in your investments?

We are committed to supporting Irish companies for the long term and the success of our portfolio companies is paramount in everything we do. When meeting new businesses, the first thing we try and understand is whether there is a cultural fit between our firm and the owners and management team that will support a partnership in the future. Secondly, we are growth investors so we try and understand the potential of your business to grow domestically, internationally, organically and/or through acquisition. If there is a clear vision and ambition to achieve growth then we already have a great foundation for an in-depth discussion.

How big are the deals in your fund?

We are a mid-market private equity fund focused exclusively on Irish SME’s. We typically invest equity in the range of €5m to €50m with the capacity to write a larger cheque by including one of our preferred co-investment partners. We don’t have any specific sector focus and our current portfolio of companies spans financial services, business services, technology, consumer brands and healthcare sectors.

What is it like to work with Cardinal?

Our ambition is to be a long-standing provider of private equity in the Irish market and we have invested in a local team of experts to support this. We are proud of our reputation locally as a trusted investment partner. We view this as one of our biggest differentiators and most valuable assets. Working with us you will find an investor that takes an active role in supporting your growth ambitions whilst entrusting the day to day management of the business to you. We have made 10 investments in Irish companies to date so the best way to find out about us is to ask our existing partners. Get in touch with us and we can facilitate an introduction.