An Irish private equity fund aimed at investing in small and medium enterprises closed yesterday having raised €290m.
The Carlyle Cardinal Ireland Fund, run by asset managers, the Carlyle Group and Cardinal Capital, performed extremely well with investment levels at the “higher end” of the partners’ expectations, according to a Carlyle spokesperson.
The success of the fundraising process illustrates the favourable investment opportunities available in the Irish market at present, according to Carlyle managing director Robert Easton.
Two of the funds key investors are the Irish National Pensions Reserve and Enterprise Ireland.
Carlyle and Cardinal now have five years to invest the €290m raised and a further five years to improve the performance of the firms it invests in.
According to a Carlyle spokesperson, technology, media and telecommunications firms represent a key area of interest for the fund, in line with the group’s expertise.
Other sectors likely to benefit include healthcare, clean-tech and specialist manufacturing.
Investors’ strong interest in the fund is an endorsement of the plan to focus their interest in those sectors, according to Cardinal Capital co-founder, Nigel McDermott.
“We are very pleased with the international fundraising process, which supports and endorses the investment strategy of our cornerstone investors, the National Pensions Reserve Fund and Enterprise Ireland,” said Mr McDermott.
It is understood that the fund cannot be re-opened to seek further investment but that the partners may seek to raise further capital through similar funds in the future.
In an interview with the Irish Examiner in March 2013, Carlyle Group co-chief executive, William Conway said that he was “excited and humbled” by the Government’s decision to entrust the group with part of the National Pension Fund.
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