Carlyle Cardinal Ireland Fund

The Carlyle Cardinal Ireland Fund (CCI) is a joint venture between Cardinal and the Carlyle Group to invest in small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and mid-market businesses in Ireland. CCI is Ireland’s largest private equity investment fund dedicated to investing in Irish companies. CCI benefits from a combination of Cardinal’s experience, relationships and local knowledge together with Carlyle’s global track record.

Investment Strategy

The objective of CCI is to generate capital appreciation through equity investments in high growth SME and mid-market companies on the island of Ireland. We are particularly interested in talking to founder owners, family businesses and management teams seeking capital for expansion. CCI seeks to invest between €5 million to €50 million of equity in each transaction with the ability to provide co-invest for investment above this level. The key attributes of investee companies include:

  • Proven track record and targeted growth ambitions
  • Experienced and committed management
  • Strong product offering and competitive market position
  • Profitable and cash generative
  • Opportunity for CCI to enhance shareholder value through its access to capital, global partnerships and industry relationships

CCI Competitive Advantage

CCI is a compelling partner for Irish companies, driving growth through our

  • Size and scope as Ireland’s largest private equity investment fund
  • Extensive local and international industry contacts to help companies grow both in the Irish market and globally
  • Dedicated Irish based investment team
  • Track record of successful investments domestically and internationally
  • International network of investor and banking relationships which provides access to further capital as required

Current Portfolio Companies

Lily O'Brien's

Irish based manufacturer of premium chocolates and desserts. Founded by Mary Ann O'Brien in her kitchen in 1992 Lily's is now an export led business with over 80% of its turnover derived from countries such as the UK, US and Australia.

General Secure Logistics Services (GSLS)

Leading independent Irish company operating in the secure logistics sector. GSLS provide a nationwide business critical service to retail and hospitality sector customers and trades on a strong reputation for high levels of service.

Carroll Cuisine

Established in 1979 Carroll Cuisine is Ireland's leading producer and distributor of branded cooked deli ham, branded and private label pre-packed sliced meats, chilled ready meals and other chilled food products. Carroll Cuisine is associated with quality Irish produce and is one of the best known brands in the Irish chilled foods category.

Payzone

Leading provider of multi-channel consumer payments in Ireland. With 11,800 points of sale across over 7,000 merchants Payzone has the largest physical terminal retail payments network in Ireland.

Abtran

Abtran is a market leading customer and business process management (“BPM”) service provider in Ireland. It provides customer-facing, back office, voice and non-voice services to a range of blue-chip clients across the public and private sectors in Ireland and the UK.

Learning Pool

Leaning Pool is Northern Ireland’s largest e-learning company. Founded in Derry in 2006 Learning Pool delivers a one-stop-shop solution for organisations seeking consistent and cost effective online learning services to train their employees

AA Ireland

AA Ireland is Ireland’s major motoring organisation and one of the country’s leading consumer service businesses. It specialises in Motor, Home & Travel insurance and provides emergency rescue for people on the road and in the home.

Case Study

Lily O’Brien’s

Lily O’Brien’s (Lily’s) is an Irish manufacturer of premium chocolates and desserts located in Newbridge, Co. Kildare. 

Founded in 1992 from her kitchen in Kildare, Mary Ann O’Brien has grown Lily O’Brien’s into a global brand name in premium chocolates and desserts. As well as a burgeoning online business, Lily’s also supplies branded products to many high street retailers and airlines.

Since investing in Lily’s, CCI has been active in assisting management grow the business. Production capacity at the Newbridge plant has almost doubled following a capex investment programme identified as part of CCI’s initial investment. Furthermore, CCI are actively assisting with the creation of revenue opportunities through linking Lily’s management to customers, companies and individuals across the Carlyle and Cardinal networks.