Kerry gold Altobridge secures $12m investment
Published 15/03/2011 | 05:00
Kerry technology group Altobridge has secured a $12m (€8.6m) investment from the private equity arm of chip giant Intel and a unit of the World Bank.
Altobridge, whose chairman is former Tanaiste Dick Spring, develops solutions for mobile operators and is most active in Asia and Africa.
Founded in 2002 by chief executive Mike Fitzgerald, it recently won a major contract from Indonesia's second-largest mobile operator to deploy solar-powered mast systems in remote regions of the archipelago in order to provide phone services to people living there.
In what was his first official outing as Enterprise Minister, Richard Bruton described the current environment as a time of "great opportunity" in Ireland, adding that it was "gratifying" to see strong companies such as Altobridge emerge. The company employs 130 people, about 50 of them in Ireland.
Mr Spring declined to say what equity stake Intel Capital and the World Bank's IFC unit were receiving for their investment. Altobridge has a large investor base, with Mr Fitzgerald owning a minority of the firm.
Mr Spring is a shareholder in the group as is Domhnal Slattery's private equity group Claret Capital. Mr Slattery is also a small shareholder in Altobridge in his own right.
Other shareholders include construction firm John Sisk & Son, as well as Declan and Shane Ryan, sons of late Ryanair founder Tony Ryan. Enterprise Ireland has also previously invested in the firm.
The fresh investment will be used by Altobridge to accelerate the roll-out of its technology and to commercialise a mobile broadband solution it has developed.
That mobile broadband product will enable mobile operators to reduce their backhaul network requirements by at least 50pc.
The backhaul network comprises the links between mobile masts and a telephone operator's main network. Increasing and more intensive use of mobile broadband can put significant pressure on network capacity.