Saturday 21 January 2017

Software entrepreneur building Ireland's next private equity fund

Published 20/09/2015 | 02:30

Raethorne was an early investor in Smiles Dental, the rapidly-growing dentistry chain founded by Topaz chief executive Emmet O'Neill (pictured) and sold to Oasis Dental in 2014 for €36m
Raethorne was an early investor in Smiles Dental, the rapidly-growing dentistry chain founded by Topaz chief executive Emmet O'Neill (pictured) and sold to Oasis Dental in 2014 for €36m

A group led by healthcare software entrepreneur David Raethorne is preparing to launch a new private equity fund targeting mid-size Irish and UK companies.

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The fund will invest between €5m and €50m in growing companies in all sectors.

Cornerstone investors have already committed to the fund and the process of opening new offices on Hatch street in Dublin 4 is also underway.

Raethorne has a long track record of growing and investing in successful companies.

A graduate of Dublin Institute of Technology, he founded healthcare software business Helix Health in 1987.

The company, which started life as Systems Solutions, grew to become the largest healthcare software firm in Ireland and the UK, and bought several smaller British rivals while under Raethorne's control.

Helix Health was bought by US investment group Eli Global in 2014 for a reported €40m.

Raethorne was an early investor in Smiles Dental, the rapidly-growing dentistry chain founded by Topaz chief executive Emmet O'Neill and sold to Oasis Dental in 2014 for €36m.

His investment vehicle Brentwood Investments also bought the coffee chain BB's Coffee and Muffins earlier this year for a sum thought to be in the region of €10m.

The new private equity fund should help to address an emerging shortage of funding for growing mid-size companies and those operating in sectors outside of the funding-saturated software industry.

Other members of its investment team include Matt Scaife, a former corporate finance adviser and chief financial officer of Helix Health who worked on the company's expansion in the UK, and Ben Merrifield, a former investment director at GI Partners where he had a focus on the consumer, leisure and retail sectors.

Sunday Indo Business

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