Sunday 22 October 2017

Carlyle Cardinal fund closes in on €50m Sam McCauley deal

Investment firm to take majority stake and drive growth in pharmacy chain

Sam McCauley (p), the founder of the pharmacy chain, told this newspaper last year that he was considering bringing in an equity investor to drive the business forward. Photo: David Conachy
Sam McCauley (p), the founder of the pharmacy chain, told this newspaper last year that he was considering bringing in an equity investor to drive the business forward. Photo: David Conachy
Gavin McLoughlin

Gavin McLoughlin

Investment fund Carlyle Cardinal Ireland (CCI) is in advanced negotiations to take a majority stake in pharmacy group Sam McCauley, the Sunday Independent understands.

It is understood the deal is valued in excess of €50m.

Sam McCauley, the founder of the pharmacy chain, told this newspaper last year that he was considering bringing in an equity investor to drive the business forward.

"I don't see any reason why an Irish pharmacy group can't hold the same position as Musgraves or Dunnes in the grocery market, in other words, be right there with the market leaders," he said.

A spokesman for CCI said it does not comment on speculation concerning investment by the fund.

It's understood CCI tends to invest in the brands it acquires and that this deal would see investment in the pharmacy business.

The fund - sponsored by US investment giant the Carlyle Group and Irish investors Cardinal Capital - has been active in recent years and counts chilled meats company Carroll Cuisine and motoring organisation the AA among its portfolio.

Cardinal was set up by Irishmen Nigel McDermott and Nick Corcoran.

McDermott was a founding director of Dermot Desmond's International Investment & Underwriting.

Sam McCauley opened its 30th Irish shop last October, a quarter of a century after its first.

"We're very much now on the path of organic growth," McCauley said at the time, adding that the chain was also expanding shops.

"We're maximising out the existing portfolio, adding on new greenfield sites and may do selective acquisitions.

"We see lots of opportunity to expand the business. We're now in a better position than ever before to move the business forward to a new level," he said.

A spokesperson for Sam McCauley could not be reached for comment.

McCauley (68) is the largest shareholder in the business, according to the company's most recently filed annual return.

Pharmacists and McCauley family members have also invested in the business, as has the well-known accountant Bernard Somers.

CCI is one of a number of private equity players operating in what has been an active Irish market.

Other firms that have recently done deals include MML Growth Capital Partners, which backed a management buyout of Fastway Couriers.

Sunday Indo Business

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