BofI and US investors among backers to sink €115m into Melior fund

Melior aims to raise €175m but sets €200m as upper limit, with fund closing by year end

Backers including Bank of Ireland and the State are reported to have put €115 million into a new fund launched in the Republic by former employees of US investor Carlyle.

Investors have pledged €115 million to a fund launched this year by Melior Equity Partners, founded by Peter Garvey and Jonathan Cosgrave, former managing directors with Carlyle in the Republic.

The figure committed by investors at a recent first close, where backers initially commit to providing cash, comes to more than two-thirds of the €175 million that Melior set out to raise when it launched the fund at the beginning of the year.

Reports named Bank of Ireland, the European Investment Bank and the State-backed Ireland Strategic Investment Fund, as backers of the Melior Equity Partners II vehicle.


Trade publication Private Equity International also said that "Carlyle itself and the private equity giant's founders are understood to have committed to the fund".

Melior intends finally closing the fund by the end of the year. While it aims to raise €175 million, it has set €200 million as its upper limit.

It intends investing the cash raised in Irish small and medium-sized businesses. Melior did not comment on the reports.

London-based Asante Capital is advising Melior on its fundraising along with UK solicitors Travers Smith.

Mr Garvey and Mr Cosgrave founded Melior last year. Since then, four other former Carlyle staff: Adam Crinion, Johnny Harte, Lorraine Lewis and Robert Easton have joined the business.

Senior advisers

Fergal Leamy, former chief executive of State forestry company Coillte, and now chief operations officer with manufacturer Glen Dimplex, is one of three senior advisers to the group.

Jimmy Tolan, one-time VHI and Fyffes chief executive, and John-George Willis, chairman of security firm RMS, and previously senior partner and head of corporate at Belfast law firm Tughans, are Melior's other senior advisers.

At the end of June, US-based Carlyle was managing $221 billion (€187 billion) on behalf of its clients. It has investments in more than 270 companies spanning industries including aerospace, energy, defence and technology. It also invests in property.

Barry O'Halloran

Barry O'Halloran

Barry O’Halloran covers energy, construction, insolvency, and gaming and betting, among other areas