Causeway Capital has announced the launch of the Causeway Capital Partners I LP Fund, a new €60m private equity fund. The Fund will support growing small and medium sized enterprises based in Ireland and the UK, investing in growth equity and buyout transactions of companies initially requiring up to €10m of equity capital.

Causeway Capital has secured cornerstone investments in the Fund from the Ireland Strategic Investment Fund (ISIF) and AIB (through Allied Irish Banks (Holdings and Investments) Limited), together with funding from a number of private investors. The Fund will remain open to subscriptions from additional investors up to a ‘hard cap’ of €60m.

Causeway Capital was founded in 2015 with the objective of providing straightforward funding solutions and strategic support to the management of established SMEs. The Fund will provide investments of up to €10m to Irish SMEs with strong growth prospects as well as overseas companies with the potential for growth in Ireland. It operates from offices in Dublin and London and has plans to expand its team in both locations.

The founders of Causeway Capital, David Raethorne and Matt Scaife, were previously involved with a number of successful SMEs, including Helix Health and Smiles Dental. Causeway Capital has completed two significant investments in growing Irish SMEs, bb’s Coffee and Muffins (March 2015) and Bizimply (April 2016).

bb’s Coffee and Muffins, a high-quality, branded coffee and muffin retail business headquartered in Limerick, has become the Fund’s first investment. bb’s CEO, Andrew Moyes, together with his management team are successfully growing their business by opening new stores, launching new and improved products and enhancing existing stores through investment. Since Causeway Capital’s original investment, bb’s has opened 6 new stores and has plans to grow the estate to 100 locations by 2020.

The Fund’s second investment in the Dublin-based technology firm, Bizimply, was announced earlier this week. Bizimply is revolutionising the way businesses in the hospitality, retail and healthcare sector manage their workforces. Causeway Capital, led a €2 million investment round alongside 500 Startups, a leading global venture capital seed fund based in Silicon Valley.This funding will support Bizimply’s ambitious growth plans which include doubling the size of its current team based in Ireland. Bizimply currently manages employee rostering and costs in more over 450 locations in 11 countries with over 10,000 registered users mainly in the hospitality, retail and healthcare sectors. Founded in Dublin by Norman Hewson, Gerard Forde, and Mikey Cannon, Bizimply has enjoyed impressive growth in the last year while also being crowned both the ESB Spark of Genius award winner and PITCH Alpha winner at the 2015 Web Summit.

Commenting, Causeway Capital partner Matt Scaife said: “Causeway Capital was formed to help established SMEs grow by providing funding and support to management teams and owners. Irish SMEs are some of the most innovative, successful and resilient businesses. There is a real need for this sort of funding to help them grow in Ireland and overseas.”

Commenting, Causeway Capital partner David Raethorne continued: “We have experience of founding and growing these types of businesses in Ireland and the UK and understand the opportunities and challenges they face. We believe that Causeway Capital is uniquely placed to help these businesses achieve a step change in their growth with a combination of funding and support for management teams and owners.”

ISIF Director Eugene O’Callaghan said: “We are delighted to support this new Irish SME private equity fund as a cornerstone investor. We believe that Causeway will be able to provide much needed capital to the SME sector in Ireland. Causeway Capital has developed a differentiated offering focussed on supporting small and medium sized businesses with both funding and strategic support. SMEs are the backbone of the Irish economy and we believe that the development of these new financing options will enhance their ability to contribute to economic growth and generate attractive returns for investors.”

Ray Fitzpatrick, Head of the AIB Equity Investment Unit, said: “AIB is pleased to be the strategic banking partner for Causeway Capital and to support a new growth capital fund in the Irish marketplace which will enable established Irish SME’s to scale their businesses.”

AIB Corporate Finance is advising Causeway Capital on fundraising. King and Wood Mallesons and William Fry are acting as legal advisers to Causeway Capital. Proskauer acted as legal adviser to the Ireland Strategic Investment Fund.

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