Carlyle raises €292m Ireland vehicle

The fund has done one deal so far: chocolate manufacturer Lily O’Brien’s

The Carlyle Group has closed its Irish-focused fund on €292 million, according to a statement.

The vehicle, which was launched in 2012 as a joint venture with Dublin- and London-based investment management firm Cardinal Capital Group, targeted between €300 million and €350 million, a source familiar with the matter told PEI last year.

It is unclear when the fund held a first close. Carlyle declined to comment beyond the statement.

“This successful fundraising process reflects the promise in the Irish economy, Carlyle’s deep industry expertise and Cardinal’s broad local knowledge and Irish market experience which will help us find further attractive Irish businesses to partner with,” Robert Easton, managing director and head of Carlyle’s CCI team, said in the statement.

“We are grateful for the support of our fund investors, who share our belief that Ireland offers significant quality investment opportunities in many different economic sectors.”

The fund has attracted investors from around the world, including the Irish National Pensions Reserve Fund and Enterprise Ireland, Carlyle said.

The vehicle will invest in small and medium enterprises in Ireland. It will focus on investment opportunities in the TMT, healthcare, cleantech, consumer brands, specialist manufacturing and financial services sectors. It will work with high-growth, entrepreneurial, family-owned businesses, as well as companies looking to expand and grow regionally and internationally.

The fund made its first investment in January 2014 when it took a ‘significant majority’ stake in Kildare-based premium chocolate manufacturer Lily O’Brien’s.

Carlyle has raised $30.6 billion in the last five years, which meant the firm topped this year’s PEI 300. During 2013 alone it amassed a staggering $22 billion: this included $13 billion for its flagship buyout fund, which closed in November ahead of its $12 billion hard-cap.