Sector News

Sweet deal will see Lily O’Brien’s sell for nearly €50m

November 14, 2017
Food & Drink

Carlyle Cardinal Ireland (CCI), a fund jointly owned and run by US player Carlyle and the Irish-owned Cardinal Capital group, has entered into exclusive talks with an unnamed bidder to sell the Lily O’Brien’s chocolate company.

CCI paid about €15 million three years ago for control of the company, and it is understood the fund is now on the verge of roughly tripling its money.

The fund earlier this year hired IBI Corporate Finance to find a buyer for Lily O’Brien’s, which was founded 25 years ago by former independent senator Mary Ann O’Brien.

Sources say the sale process is now well advanced, with a single preferred bidder, although it is so far unclear whether this is a trade buyer or another private equity buyer.

A spokesman for Cardinal and a spokeswoman for Carlyle both declined to comment

Major exporter

Ms O’Brien founded the business in her kitchen and it has since grown into a major exporter of chocolate, confectionery and desserts. It is named after her daughter.

In recent years, under CCI’s ownership, distribution was ramped up, particularly in the UK, and Lily O’Brien’s annual revenues rose by almost half to more than €32 million.

The deal, when completed, will represent CCI’s first exit from its portfolio of Irish smaller and medium-sized businesses. It has also invested in companies including payment tech company Payzone, food group Carroll Cuisine and Sam McCauley chemists.

The fund seeks to invest between €5 million and €50 million in each business, and says it will partner with other investors for higher cash injections.

Source: Irish Times

comments closed

Related News

January 22, 2023

Danone unveils plan to cut methane emissions

Food & Drink

The company expects to eliminate 1.2 billion tons carbon dioxide equivalent of methane emissions by the end of the decade. The company says that it already reduced its methane emissions by around 14% between 2018 and 2020.

January 22, 2023

US researchers land US$2.4M to turn food waste into “affordable” bioplastics

Food & Drink

The “first-of-its-kind” pilot project will develop and demonstrate an affordable modular bioprocessing system to produce biodegradable bioplastics from food waste diverted from landfills. The three-year grant will test the scalability and feasibility of the conversion on a national and global scale.

January 22, 2023

Arkeon partners with ICL to transform CO2 into proteins

Food & Drink

Arkeon is allying with specialty mineral giant ICL to support the scaling of its fermentation bioprocess that converts CO2 into the 20 proteinogenic essential amino acids needed in human nutrition. The process, hailed as carbon negative, is based on the use of archaea, a group of microorganisms that naturally feeds off the greenhouse gas.

How can we help you?

We're easy to reach