Dublin-based Melior Equity Partners, a new private equity firm, has launched. Melior was spun out of Carlyle’s Ireland investment team. Jonathan Cosgrave and Peter Garvey, who co-led The Carlyle Group’s investment activities in Ireland, are the founders of Melior.
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.”