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Carlyle Cardinal Ireland supports Carroll Cuisine’s management buyout

Carlyle Cardinal Ireland, an Irish private equity fund formed by The Carlyle Group and Cardinal Capital Group, is backing a management buyout of Carroll Cuisine, an Irish provider of cooked meats and ready meals. The seller is Aryzta AG. No financial terms were disclosed. The transaction is expected to be completed in the second quarter of this year. Also, Jonathan Cosgrave, a director at Carlyle and John Dolan, a director at Cardinal, have been appointed to Carroll Cuisine’s board.


Carlyle Cardinal Ireland (CCI), the Irish private equity fund established by The Carlyle Group and Cardinal Capital Group, has finalised the terms of its investment in Carroll Cuisine, backing a management buy-out of the company from Aryzta AG. The transaction, terms of which are not being released, is expected to close in the second quarter of 2015.

Kieran Carolan, CEO, Carroll Cuisine, said: “As the largest equity investment fund in the Irish market coupled with extensive experience working with branded food companies both within Ireland and internationally, CCI is the ideal partner to support the future growth of the business. Carroll Cuisine is now well placed to maintain our strong business momentum, and to further consolidate our position as the leading supplier of cooked meats and chilled ready meal meals in the country. Our focus will be on continuing new product development and innovation to support further expansion of the business.”

The company’s existing management team – CEO Kieran Carolan, COO John Comerford and Finance Director Fiona Delaney – have acquired a shareholding in the business and will continue in their leadership roles. Jonathan Cosgrave, a Carlyle Director and John Dolan, a Cardinal Director, will join the board of Carroll Cuisine.

Carroll Cuisine produces and distributes branded and private label pre-packed sliced cooked meats, deli hams, chilled ready meals and other chilled food products, supplying large grocery retailers and convenience stores across Ireland. The company employs 150 people in Tullamore.

Carlyle Director Jonathan Cosgrave, said: “Carroll Cuisine is a great example of the type of high quality business CCI seeks to invest in – a proven company driven by a brand with a unique heritage and consumer appeal, and with a track record of growth and innovation. We are excited to partner with the management team and believe that CCI’s investment will help the management team achieve their ambitions.”

Cardinal Director John Dolan, commented: “The food sector is a core focus for our investment fund. We see this as a first step in building a larger company with a broader portfolio of chilled food businesses in Ireland. The combination of Carroll Cuisine’s leading market position and state-of-the-art production facilities in Tullamore provides a strong platform to expand and grow as the leading Irish chilled food supplier.”

Hilliard Lombard, Chief Executive of ARYZTA Europe and Asia Pacific, said: “We are pleased to see how Carroll Cuisine flourished under our ownership. Considerable investment in the company over recent years has enabled the brand to expand its presence in existing and new markets, increasing sales in the process. We wish the team continued success.”

Mr. Lombard added: “ARYZTA’s programme of investment in Ireland continues. We are advancing our ARYZTA Food Solutions and ARYZTA Bakeries businesses from our €200 million centre of excellence in Grange castle, with further growth developments anticipated this year.”

Equity for the investment will come from CCI, a €292 million Irish private equity fund focused on growth capital and buyout investment opportunities across Ireland, whose investors include the Ireland Strategic Investment Fund and Enterprise Ireland. The fund has also made investments in the Kildare-based premium chocolate manufacturer Lily O’Brien’s, General Secure Logistics Services (GSLS), an Irish cash management solutions provider, and Payzone, the largest provider of multi-channel consumer payments across Ireland.