The Ireland Strategic Investment Fund (ISIF) has announced its plans to back 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 combined businesses will operate under the Green Isle Foods banner and will seek to grow and develop the Green Isle and Donegal Catch brands.
'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 group outlined in a statement.
"It comprises quality brands with excellent market positions and offers a strong platform for growth," Hickey said.
"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.”
According to the finance company ISIF is the single biggest investor while other investors include Hickey, Ray Coyle, an 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.
“This is an example of ISIF’s commitment to investing in regional businesses, a key feature of our refocused investment strategy,
Cathal Fitzgerald, ISIF senior investment director – Food and Agriculture said.
ISIF said that it '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'.
The investor group was advised by Investec Corporate Finance, PWC and Flynn O’Driscoll, a leading firm of corporate lawyers, according to the statement.
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.
The acquisition will support over 100 jobs at the manufacturing plant in Gurteen, Co Sligo and offices in Naas, Co Kildare.