Irish market is set to benefit further from Waterland’s buy-and-build strategy, with an added commitment of capital from the Ireland Strategic Investment Fund (ISIF).
Waterland has closed two new funds worth €4bn to support growing businesses in the European market.
The private equity player has closed its ninth institutional flagship fund Waterland Private Equity Fund IX (WPEFIX) which is worth €3.5bn.
“That’s what I’m passionate about: helping more companies to remain headquartered in Ireland but be able to scale and become European leaders”
It also closed the new Waterland Partnership Fund I, which is worth €500m, and will enable Waterland to continue to invest in minority stakes in businesses even after they exited the original arrangement in order to maintain a long-term relationship.
According to Waterland, the fundraise attracted commitments from world-class institutional investors globally. The investor base for both funds is well diversified by geography, consisting of investors across Ireland, Europe, North America, the Middle East and Asia Pacific.
By investor type it consists of asset managers, public and private pension funds, insurance companies, sovereign wealth funds, endowments, foundations and family offices, amongst others.
In Ireland, the fund was supported by investment from the Ireland Strategic Investment Fund (ISIF), which is focused on supporting the growth and expansion of Irish businesses through this fund.
Both funds were oversubscribed with demand significantly exceeding the fundraising targets.
WPEF IX expects to make investments in medium-sized companies in fragmented growth markets in Europe to finance organic and acquisitive growth. This is a continuation of the successful buy-and-build investment strategy applied to the firm’s prior funds over the last two decades.
WPF I is a natural extension of the Waterland platform. WPF I expects to make minority investments in a very select number of Waterland portfolio companies when these are exited.
Buy-and-build investment strategy
Launched in Ireland at the end of 2019, Waterland is a leading independent pan-European private equity group set up 24 years ago in Holland with over €14bn in assets under management. The group acts as an active shareholder in its portfolio companies, working in close partnership with management to drive their strategic development, performance and growth trajectory.
While very much a pan-European fund, the ambition is for as much capital as possible to be deployed in the Irish market. This latest round of investment forms part of its strategy to support Irish-headquartered companies to grow and expand their export channels in European and international markets.
Recent investments in Ireland include a €30m investment in Meath engineering firm MTM as well as a strategic investment in Mullingar business Writech to enable it to scale across Europe.
Laura Dillon, managing director and principal at Waterland Private Equity Ireland, told ThinkBusiness that the goal is to invest in the long-term future of businesses. “Writech is a great example in the fire safety market where we partnered with Ted and the Wright family to help them expand and while remaining in Mullingar help them to become a European leader in their respective market.
“So far we’ve supported the Writech team in the acquisition of two businesses in the UK and one in Sweden.
“Writech and MTM Engineering are great examples of strong entrepreneurs, family-run companies, who both share the ambition we had to really scale up their companies. And they are able to tap into our expertise in areas like acquisitions and help them to build bigger businesses. That’s what I’m passionate about: helping more companies to remain headquartered in Ireland but be able to scale and become European leaders.”
Dillon said that the current uncertainty in the world lends itself to opportunity. “Sometimes the best investments are made during times of uncertainty. We are in the business of taking and managing risk and we need to support our management teams and our companies to make sure that they’re in a strong position, that they are financially secure and that they have a good platform for growth.”
Main image at top: Donal Mac Nioclais, Investment Director; Danylo Razlovan, Senior Associate; Laura Dillon, Managing Director and Principal; Adam Crinion, Investment Manager; and Danny Dillon, Senior Associate