(This press release was issued by Finance Ireland on Friday 25 November 2016)
Finance Ireland, Ireland’s largest non-bank lender, has announced that the Ireland Strategic Investment Fund (ISIF) has conditionally agreed to make a €30m equity investment in the company. Following the investment, which will see ISIF take a 32% shareholding, ISIF will nominate two Directors to join the company’s Board.
This deal marks another milestone for Finance Ireland following a €25m investment by a global investment firm in 2015. Following today’s transaction, that investment firm and ISIF now hold similar equity positions in the company.
Finance Ireland was established in 2002 by banking entrepreneur Billy Kane (a former Chief Executive of Permanent TSB). The company provides funding to the SME, Agri, Motor and CRE (Commercial Real Estate) sectors. The company already works with ISIF in respect of the MilkFlex Fund which provides flexible, low interest loans to Glanbia dairy farmers. The group is on track to provide in excess of €300m in new lending to Irish customers in 2016.
Finance Ireland has expanded its operations with the addition of 40 new staff in 2016. The Group now employs 85 professionals across its four operating divisions in Leasing, Agri, Auto and CRE.
Speaking today Billy Kane, the company’s founder, said “this significant investment by ISIF underpins our very ambitious growth plans for the coming years. Our mission is to create a major non-bank lender in the Irish financial landscape offering customers a real alternative to the traditional banking sector and we are well on the way to achieving that.”
Eugene O’ Callaghan, Director of the Ireland Strategic Investment Fund said; “ISIF was attracted by the opportunity to support an established and experienced management team to expand its non-bank platform and in particular grow its SME and Agri Leasing businesses. This investment complements the products provided by other non-bank platforms in the SME sector that ISIF has supported.”
Finance Ireland was advised on this transaction by Goodbody Corporate Finance.