Carlyle Cardinal Ireland (CCI), the Irish private equity fund founded by The Carlyle Group (NASDAQ: CG) and Cardinal Capital Group, today announced that it has agreed to acquire Payzone Ireland, the largest provider of multi-channel consumer payments across the country, from Duke Street.
The change in ownership will have no impact on the day-to-day business operations of Payzone in Ireland. The senior management team, including Mike Maloney, Jim Deignan and Nigel Bell, will remain in their roles and will roll over substantial equity into the new partnership.
With 11,800 points of sale across 7,000 agents, Payzone Ireland has one of the largest physical retail payments networks in Ireland. It is estimated that 97% of all consumers in Ireland are within a quarter of a mile of a Payzone agent, providing them with a convenient way to pay for a multitude of everyday items from road tolls to energy bills to mobile phone top-ups.
Peter Garvey, Director of Carlyle said: "As well as being a prominent and reputable brand in Ireland, Payzone is a high quality business with a great management team who have helped grow and diversify the business in recent years. CCI's extensive experience in backing consumer and financial services businesses means that we are well-placed to work with Payzone's leadership to continue their growth journey in the coming years."
Jim Deignan, Managing Director Payzone Ireland, commented: "Payzone is at the forefront of developing the e-payments industry in Ireland and processes more than 1 million transactions per week in retail, online and mobile phone payments. We have worked hard to grow the business to offer many new and exciting products to the consumer across a variety of channels, including in store, online or via our apps. Our recent focus has been in the areas of transport, utilities and financial services, where consumers are increasingly using electronic payments. We are committed to this growth path with CCI as our new partner, benefiting from their experience in working with other businesses like ours."
Charlie Troup, Partner at Duke Street, majority shareholder in the Payzone Group, added:
"We are proud to have worked with Payzone's talented management team through the journey rney of restructuring the group, and growing and selling its Cashzone ATM operations while strengthening the market position of the remaining Payzone businesses and generating excellent returns for Duke Street's investors. This hard work has delivered an attractive business with significant further growth potential. We see CCI as well qualified to back management for the next phase of growth."
Equity for the investment will come from CCI, a €292 million Irish private equity fund focused on growth capital and buyout investment opportunities across Ireland whose investors include the Ireland Strategic Investment Fund and Enterprise Ireland. The fund has also made investments in the Kildare-based premium chocolate manufacturer Lily O'Brien's, and General Secure Logistics Services (GSLS), an Irish cash management solutions provider.
The operations of Payzone UK and Payzone Romania, the two remaining businesses in the original Payzone Group, are unaffected by the deal.
The acquisition of Payzone Ireland by CCI is subject to approval from the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission.