MML Ireland closes new €135m fund to back Irish SMEs

1 Mar 2021400 Views

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The Government’s ISIF vehicle has backed the fund that will invest between €5m and €15m each in Irish companies that have potential for expansion.

MML Growth Capital Partners, a private equity firm, has closed a new fund at €135m to invest in Irish SMEs and start-ups.

It is MML’s second private equity fund, dubbed MML Growth Capital Partners Ireland Fund 2, and has raised the capital from the Irish government’s Ireland Strategic Investment Fund (ISIF), AIB, the European Investment Fund and British Business Investments. A number of large US institutional investors invested as well, the firm said.

MML, which is led by partners Rory Quirke and Neil McGowan, has previously made 15 investments in Ireland, investing €125m in companies including Fastway Couriers and Prim-Ed Publishing.

This second fund has already invested in three companies: two energy firms in Kyte Powertech and CG Power Systems Ireland and care services provider Irish HomeCare.

“The successful deployment of our initial fund and the overall performance of the investments in that fund gave us a strong launch pad for Fund 2,” Quirke said.

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“A number of the core investors in our initial fund are invested in Fund 2 and we welcome ISIF and British Business Investments as new partners. The involvement of both our existing and new investors reflects their interest in Ireland’s SME sector and the associated development and growth opportunities.”

The firm’s investments range between €5m and €15m and it typically backs companies that are ready to expand. It also provides capital for acquisitions, shareholder re-organisations, re-capitalisations and management buy-outs.

According to McGowan, its portfolio companies have generated revenues of €400m and employ more than 3,000 people.

“We have always believed that there are many high-quality businesses in Ireland which, with appropriate investment and a good ownership structure, can grow and develop based on their inherent potential and the enterprise of management,” McGowan said.

“This belief has been borne out by the businesses with whom we have partnered. Across sectors from healthcare to education and from insurance to engineering, the trigger for many management teams has been to re-shape and transition ownership, re-finance debt, invest in organic and acquisitive growth opportunities and open new markets.”

Jonathan Keane is a freelance business and technology journalist based in Dublin

editorial@siliconrepublic.com