Capvest in­vestors to share €200m pay­out in Mater-va­leo deal

US pri­vate eq­uity firm of­fers chance to cash out or in­vest in new ve­hi­cle

Sunday Independent (Ireland) - Business & Appointments - - FRONT PAGE - Gavin Mclough­lin

IN­VESTORS in a fund with ma­jor­ity stakes in Va­leo Foods and the Mater Pri­vate Hos­pi­tal are to share in a €200m pay­day.

US pri­vate eq­uity firm Har­bour­vest Part­ners is buy­ing out a num­ber of share­hold­ers in the fund known as Capvest Fund II. The fund is man­aged by Ir­ish pri­vate-eq­uity firm Capvest, which is run by well­known busi­ness­man Sea­mus Fitz­patrick.

In­vestors are also be­ing of­fered the chance to roll their in­ter­ests over into a new ve­hi­cle, which will seek to max­imise the value of the Mater and Va­leo share­hold­ings.

The new fund will con­tinue to be man­aged by Capvest.

This means that there will be no change in the re­la­tion­ship be­tween fund man­ager Capvest and Va­leo and the Mater.

Capvest de­clined to com­ment on the trans­ac­tion when con­tacted by the Sun­day In­de­pen­dent.

This deal gives in­vestors the op­por­tu­nity to re­alise a re­turn on their in­vest­ments as the fund reaches the end of its life.

Typ­i­cally, when funds are known to be com­ing to the end of their term, it be­comes more dif­fi­cult to achieve higher prices for as­sets owned by the fund.

The trans­ac­tion comes af­ter Capvest re­ceived un­so­licited ap­proaches from in­vestors look­ing to buy the as­sets ear­lier this year.

Mater Pri­vate Health­care — which has a fa­cil­ity in Cork, as well as its flag­ship hos­pi­tal in Dublin — had been up for sale as re­cently as last year, but no deal took place.

It and the Va­leo stake are the two re­main­ing as­sets in the fund.

Va­leo — which is run by for­mer Aer Lin­gus chief op­er­at­ing of­fi­cer Sea­mus Kear­ney — has a portfolio of food brands, in­clud­ing Ja­cob’s, Batch­e­lors, Chef, Od­lums, Erin and Kelkin.

That busi­ness was cre­ated by Capvest as a ve­hi­cle to ac­quire Batch­e­lors and Ori­gin Foods — a divi­sion of listed Ori­gin En­ter­prises.

It bought tea and cof­fee maker Robert Roberts and health food com­pany Kelkin from con­glom­er­ate DCC in a €60m trans­ac­tion a num­ber of years ago. It has also re­cently ex­panded into con­ti­nen­tal Europe via the ac­qui­si­tion of Ital­ian sponge­cake-maker Bal­coni.

Bel­turbet man Fitz­patrick was ranked 161st on the Sun­day In­de­pen­dent 2017 Rich List, with a per­sonal wealth of €97m.

Other com­pa­nies in May­fair-based Capvest’s past or present portfolio in­clude Punch Tav­erns, pork pro­ducer Karro, and cof­fee dis­trib­u­tor United Cof­fee.

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