BDO eyeing new fund to boost SME sector
BDO is at an early stage of discussions for establishing a successor fund to its Development Capital Fund, the Sunday Independent understands.
The €75m fund, set up to invest €2m-€10m in profitable mid-size companies to “support and accelerate their export growth plans”, has had a number of high-profile exits recently.
A new version would represent a significant boost for Ireland’s SME sector.
A spokesman for the BDO Development Capital Fund said it had no comment to make.
The fund was an investor in Galway-based beauty products company Lifes2good, which sold one of its products to US giant Dwight & Church for €150m earlier this year.
It was also an investor in software company Version 1, exiting its investment when Uk-based private equity firm Volpi Capital — run by Irishman Crevan O’grady — injected €90m of equity into Version 1.
The fund, led by investment directors Sinead Heaney and Andrew Bourg, made an estimated return of 250pc on that deal.
Companies currently in its portfolio include cloud telephony company Blueface, security and surveillance company Netwatch, telecoms and utilities services providers Obelisk, and confectionery maker Broderick’s.
After the Blueface investment, revealed by this newspaper in March, the fund was approximately twothirds invested, according to Andrew Bourg. “We’ve got a very strong pipeline for the rest of the investment, we see it being fully invested by the latter part of this year,” Bourg said.
“Part of our role is to find the best companies and the portfolio is building very, very nicely,” he added.
The fund offers investee companies the chance to tap into the expertise of its partners, which include Bank of Ireland, CRH, Glanbia and Enterprise Ireland.
Each of those companies has invested in the fund.