January 19th, 2020

Former Carlyle Group Managing Directors Launch Melior Equity Partners

19th January, 2020 Dublin, Ireland – Melior Equity Partners (www.meliorequity.com) has been launched following completion of the spin-out of Carlyle’s Ireland investment team from The Carlyle Group. Melior Equity Partners was founded by Jonathan Cosgrave and Peter Garvey, who co-led The Carlyle Group’s investment activities in Ireland from their base in Dublin.

The Carlyle Group was the first global private equity firm to establish a dedicated private equity fund in Ireland and Cosgrave and Garvey have been instrumental in promoting the growth of private equity investment activity in Ireland since 2014. The Carlyle Cardinal Ireland (CCI) fund has been one of the most active private equity investors in the Irish market and has already achieved several successful exits.

Jonathan Cosgrave commented: “The Melior team’s track record of investing in 11 Irish companies and successfully exiting a number of these, speaks to our local network and knowledge of the Irish market, and our ability to identify high growth companies and partner with leading management teams”.

Following the success of the CCI fund, Melior is in the process of launching its own standalone fund, which will build on Cosgrave and Garvey’s strong private equity investment track records both in Ireland and internationally, and a robust pipeline of investment opportunities that have been originated over the last few years. Melior will be supported in this process by Asante Capital, a leading global placement agent.

Peter Garvey outlined Melior’s investment focus: “Melior will primarily invest in small and medium sized buyout and growth equity opportunities with a focus on founder-owned businesses. These companies often have a higher need for investment driven by succession, shareholder liquidity and growth capital requirements. For these firms private equity investment is filling the financing gap caused by the reduced availability of bank financing.”

“The private equity market remains underpenetrated in Ireland and having helped to grow the market here – private equity investment has seen deal volumes increase over 50% since 2014 – we see an exciting opportunity over the next decade for Melior to continue to support Irish companies achieve their growth ambitions”, said Cosgrave.

The team members will continue their involvement in managing the remaining CCI fund portfolio companies on behalf of The Carlyle Group including the AA Ireland, Carroll Cuisine, McCauley’s, Learning Pool, Sports Surgery Clinic and The City Bin Company. The other support and services that The Carlyle Group provides to the CCI fund will remain unchanged.

The Carlyle Group is fully supportive of Garvey and Cosgrave’s decision to establish Melior Equity Partners. Bill Conway, Co-founder and Co-Executive Chairman of The Carlyle Group said: “It’s been a pleasure working closely with Peter and Jonny over the past six years as they have helped build the private equity market in Ireland. They have shown themselves to be strong and diligent investors as the team has built the CCI portfolio, and I have every confidence in them continuing to drive value in the CCI fund portfolio in the coming years. I look forward to supporting them in their new venture.”

Cosgrave and Garvey have over 40 years’ combined experience at leading global firms including Warburg Pincus, Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan, McKinsey & Co. and The Carlyle Group. At Melior Equity Partners they now lead an experienced team of seven people all of whom worked together with The Carlyle Group in Ireland.

Melior has partnered with a set of experienced senior advisers who will support the team in sourcing investment opportunities in addition to conducting due diligence and working with portfolio company management teams as board directors. These advisers are all senior leaders from the Irish business community and include Fergal Leamy, COO of Glen Dimplex and former CEO of Coillte; Jimmy Tolan, Chairman of CareChoice and former CEO of the VHI Healthcare; and John-George Willis, former Head of Corporate transactions at Tughan’s law firm in Belfast. In addition, Maire O’Connor, former McCann FitzGerald partner and director of the Irish Stock Exchange, will chair Melior’s regulated entity, while Laura Heuston, founder of SustainabilityWorks, will help shape the firm’s Environmental, Social and Governance agenda.

Garvey said “We are delighted that Carlyle’s complete Ireland investment team has joined with us in establishing Melior. We are also thrilled to have some of Ireland’s most senior business leaders on our advisory board. Melior is seeking to build a world-class, Dublin-based investment firm that will deliver attractive returns to investors over the long-term and we believe that the quality of our team is a clear illustration of that ambition.”


Investor Contacts:

Peter Garvey, Melior Equity Partners

Tel: +353(0)86-385-2023; Email: peter.garvey@meliorequity.com

Warren Hibbert, Asante Capital

Tel: +44(0)20-3696-4701; Email: wh@asantecapital.com

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January 19th, 2020

Carlyle bigwigs Jonathan Cosgrave and Peter Garvey make a break for Melior

Financiers Jonathan Cosgrave and Peter Garvey have completed the spin-out of Carlyle Ireland’s investment team from the Carlyle Group to form Melior Equity Partners, ahead of a planned €175m fundraising.

Cosgrave and Garvey led the Carlyle Group’s investment activities in Ireland, most significantly its involvement in Carlyle Cardinal Ireland Fund, a €292m private equity fund co-managed with the Dublin investment group Cardinal Capital.

Carlyle Ireland’s entire investment team has transferred to Melior. A team of senior advisers has also been appointed to help in sourcing investment opportunities, supporting due diligence and working with portfolio companies.

Advisers include Fergal Leamy, chief operating officer of Glen Dimplex and former chief executive of Coillte; and Jimmy Tolan, chairman of nursing home provider CareChoice and former VHI Healthcare chief. John-George Willis, a former corporate transactions head at Tughans law firm in Belfast, will also be a senior adviser.

Former McCann Fitzgerald partner Máire O’Connor will chair the firm’s regulated business.

Melior has retained Asante Capital, a leading global placing agent, to advise on raising the new fund.

Bill Conway, co-founder and co-executive chairman of the Carlyle Group, said he “looked forward” to supporting Cosgrave and Garvey in the new venture.

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October 1st, 2020

AA Ireland Embarks on Next Phase of Development with New Financial Backers

1st , 2020 Dublin, Ireland – Following a successful carve out from AA plc and a significant investment in business transformation, AA Ireland, the leading roadside assistance provider and insurance intermediary, has secured new financial backers, Further Global Capital Management (Further Global).  The transaction, the terms of which are not being disclosed, will see the exit of Carlyle Cardinal Ireland (CCI) and Carlyle Global Financial Services Partners (CGFSP).  New owners, Further Global, will work with AA Ireland management as the business embarks on its next phase of development.

Speaking today, Brendan Nevin, CEO of AA Ireland said: “The team at CCI and CGFSP has worked very successfully with us to carve out AA Ireland from AA plc and then help develop the business and to support our transformation. We thank them for their support and collaboration.  Having completed the transformation of the business and invested in our Roadside Rescue fleet and technical resources, we look forward now to building on those solid foundations with our new financial backers, Further Global.

Mr. Nevin added, “With the experience, expertise and backing of Further Global, AA Ireland will continue to operate as an Irish-based company headquartered in Dublin.  The company will continue to serve our customers with a team of almost 500 people committed to being the leading roadside assistance provider and insurance intermediary in Ireland.”

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December 24th, 2020

Carlyle Cardinal Ireland (CCI) Agrees Sale of Carroll Cuisine to Eight Fifty Food Group

24th December, 2020 Dublin, Ireland – Carlyle Cardinal Ireland (CCI) has agreed the sale of Carroll Cuisine to Eight Fifty Food Group, the multi-protein food group owned by CapVest Partners LLP (CapVest), an international private equity investor. The acquisition, terms of which are not being disclosed, is expected to complete during Q1 2021.

Tullamore headquartered Carroll Cuisine produces and distributes branded and private-label cooked meats, deli hams, chilled ready meals and other chilled food products to supermarkets and convenience stores throughout Ireland. In 2015 CCI, the Irish private equity fund established by The Carlyle Group (NASDAQ: CG) and Cardinal Capital Group, acquired Carroll Cuisine, backing the management team to complete a carve-out of the company from Aryzta AG. The Carroll Cuisine management team is led by CEO Kieran Carolan, COO John Comerford and CFO Fiona Delaney.

During CCI’s ownership, Carroll’s consolidated its position as a leading supplier of pre-packed sliced cooked meats, deli products and chilled ready meals in Ireland. The company experienced strong growth, with turnover increasing by 50pc, driven by investment in manufacturing capacity, innovation and new product development.

Kieran Carolan, CEO, Carroll Cuisine said: “Our company has gone from strength to strength in the past five years. It has been an exciting journey and we have achieved our ambitious growth targets with the fantastic support of Carlyle Cardinal Ireland. Jonathan Cosgrave and John Dolan strengthened our board and their advice and counsel was very valuable to us. We look forward to continuing to grow our company as part of Eight Fifty Food Group.”

John Dolan, Managing Director, Cardinal Capital Group said: “We are very proud to have facilitated the rapid growth of Carroll’s Cuisine, which over the past five years has not only consolidated its position as one of Ireland’s top food brands but has also more than doubled employee numbers from 150 in 2015 to 325 today. The success of CCI-backed companies such as Carroll’s Cuisine and Lily O’Brien’s clearly demonstrates the growth potential of Irish food companies with the right investment partners.”

Jonathan Cosgrave, Partner at Melior Equity Partners which advises the CCI fund on behalf of The Carlyle Group, said: “During our partnership with Carroll Cuisine management, more than €5 million has been invested to support manufacturing capacity expansion, new product development, and environmental and sustainability programmes. This investment enabled the brand to expand its presence in existing and new markets, increasing both sales and employment. The sale of Carroll’s follows CCI’s recent exit of AA Ireland and are great examples of what can be achieved when a management team has the backing of a supportive private equity partner.”

Eight Fifty Food Group’s acquisition of Carroll Cuisine is subject to approval from the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC).

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