- Acquisition will support over 100 existing jobs in Sligo and Kildare
- Ireland Strategic Investment Fund the single biggest investor
- Business will target growth in domestic and foreign markets
The Ireland Strategic Investment Fund (ISIF) is backing the acquisition of the Green Isle and Donegal Catch food manufacturing and export businesses by a group led by the former Chief Executive of Largo Foods (Tayto), Maurice Hickey.
The acquisition will support over 100 jobs at the manufacturing plant in Gurteen, Co Sligo and offices in Naas, Co Kildare. The combined businesses will operate under the Green Isle Foods banner and will seek to grow and develop the Green Isle and Donegal Catch brands.
ISIF is the single biggest investor while other investors include Mr Hickey, Ray Coyle, a highly regarded Irish entrepreneur and former founder of Largo Foods, and a number of other private investors. The transaction was supported with bank debt provided by Ulster Bank.
The acquisition will facilitate Green Isle’s plans to grow its revenues and diversify its business base, targeting both the domestic and export markets, while building on existing strong market positions held by both Green Isle and Donegal Catch in Ireland.
The investor group also strongly believes there is a significant opportunity to grow this leading indigenous, Irish food manufacturing business into the future, in both the frozen food and other growth segments of the food market.
ISIF’s backing for the acquisition reflects its commitment to investing in regional development and supporting indigenous Irish businesses, two of the five key priorities contained in ISIF’s refocused investment strategy, which was announced in February.
Commenting on the acquisition Mr Hickey said:
“We are very excited about the opportunity presented by the Green Isle Foods business. It comprises quality brands with excellent market positions and offers a strong platform for growth. The investor group comprises highly experienced business people and investors who have a strong appetite and commitment to the growth and development of Irish businesses.”
ISIF Senior Investment Director – Food and Agriculture, Cathal Fitzgerald said:
“This is an example of ISIF’s commitment to investing in regional businesses, a key feature of our refocused investment strategy. We are pleased to support a business that generates significant economic activity and employment in Sligo and Kildare and we look forward to helping Green Isle grow its export base and target new European markets”.
The investor group was advised by Investec Corporate Finance, PWC and Flynn O’Driscoll, a leading firm of corporate lawyers.
The businesses have been acquired from the 2 Sisters Food Group, one of the largest food manufacturing businesses in the UK. Clearwater International acted as financial adviser to the 2 Sisters Food Group.