ISIF and China’s CIC Capital announce €150 million Fund to focus on high-growth companies seeking access to Irish and Chinese markets

Friday, 16 March 2018

The Ireland Strategic Investment Fund (ISIF) and the CIC Capital Corporation (CIC Capital) have today announced a €150 million Fund to invest in both high-growth Irish technology firms with an ambition to access the Chinese market, and Chinese firms seeking to use Ireland as a base for European operations.

The Fund is a successor to the now fully-invested China Ireland Technology Growth Fund, announced in 2014 by ISIF’s predecessor, the National Pensions Reserve Fund (NPRF) and China Investment Corporation (CIC).

That $100 million Fund supported six Irish technology firms with expanding into China and helped the firms develop relationships with Chinese customers. Today these firms collectively employ c.350 people in Ireland.

For example, Irish-founded Movidius has become a global leader in machine vision technology with the 2014 Fund assisting in facilitating relationships with new Chinese customers, which proved instrumental in gaining commercial traction. Movidius was subsequently acquired by Intel in 2016.

The new Fund, which will again be co-managed by Dublin-based Atlantic Bridge and Beijing-based WestSummit Capital, will place a stronger focus on targeting Chinese companies who wish to use Ireland as a base to access the European market, as well as continuing to invest in Irish companies with a strategic interest in accessing China. Atlantic Bridge and WestSummit Capital offer cross-border expertise and local networks in China and Ireland to support investee’s international expansions.

The target sectors of the Fund will include hardware opportunities underpinning next generation products, such as Internet of Things (IoT) and mobile devices, and software applications such as big data, robotics and artificial intelligence (AI), all areas of strength for both Ireland and China.

The Fund was launched by An Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs & Trade, Simon Coveney T.D. and Vice Chairman and President of CIC, Tu Guangshao, at an event in Beijing this morning as part of An Tanaiste’s visit to China and Hong Kong.

Speaking at the Fund launch, Eugene O’Callaghan, Director of ISIF said:

“China has emerged as a leader in many areas of technology over the last four years. We look forward to working with CIC Capital again on this new Fund, which will offer a strong economic return to Ireland, as Chinese companies looking to gain access to Europe use Ireland as a base for their operations. The Irish companies that will benefit from the Fund will gain from the opportunities to grow their business and product potential in the Chinese market.”

An Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs & Trade, Simon Coveney T.D. said:

“Today’s announcement is a very welcome one that complements the strong synergies existing between Ireland and China in the high-technology sector. This fund is a strong vehicle for Irish companies seeking to gain a better foothold in, and understanding of, the increasingly important Chinese market and facilitates Chinese technology companies as they seek to go global and to enter the European market. The fund, fostering knowledge exchange in both directions, will be of mutual benefit, creating jobs in Ireland and increasing revenues for and the profiles of companies in Ireland’s innovative high tech sector.”

Vice Chairman and President of CIC, Tu Guangshao, said:

“Ireland’s competitiveness in the technology sector has been growing notably over the years. We look forward to working with ISIF to expand our relationship. Irish companies supported by the fund could bring cutting-edge technologies and innovations to China, meanwhile Chinese companies could explore the access to the European market through the fund.”

Welcoming ISIF’s investment in the Fund, the Minister for Finance and Public Expenditure & Reform, Paschal Donohoe T.D. said:

“This announcement clearly demonstrates the strengthening of ISIF’s existing partnership with CIC Capital which is a subsidiary of China Investment Corporation. The partnership has already delivered significant investment and economic return for Ireland. I welcome the focus of this new Fund in supporting Irish firms who want to access the Chinese market and also supporting Chinese firms who want to establish EU headquarters in Ireland. This collaboration between Ireland and China is a great opportunity to promote Ireland’s economy to international businesses.”

Ireland Strategic Investment Fund