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Exponent, a leading private equity firm, is pleased to announce the establishment of a new operational base in Ireland following approval from the Central Bank of Ireland (CBI) as an Alternative Investment Fund Manager (AIFM). Exponent will become one of the first private equity firms to utilise Ireland’s newly revised Investment Limited Partnership (ILP) structure.

This new operational base in Dublin will complement its principal office in London, underscoring its long-standing commitment to Ireland.  The choice of Ireland is based on two key factors: Exponent’s strong track record and deep familiarity with the Irish market; and the strategic appeal of the market, evidenced by its new legislation for fund managers. This new structure is consistent with the innovative business climate Exponent has experienced in its 10-year history of investing in Ireland.  

David McGovern, Partner at Exponent, said: “We are pleased to be an early mover in establishing an operational base in Dublin. Seeking a licence from the CBI was a natural evolution of our presence in Ireland – and is a formal sign of intent, building on our incumbency and desire to contribute to the Irish business community. We continue to see a compelling opportunity in the market, characterised by excellent home-grown businesses, a robust and innovative regulatory framework and a sophisticated and growing investment environment. The time is right to take our long, successful track record of working with Irish businesses and deepen our commitment to Ireland as an Alternative Investment Fund Manager.”

As the leading private equity investor in Ireland and the UK for corporate carve outs and acquiring founder-led businesses (“primaries”), Exponent has built an exceptionally strong track record of investing in Ireland over the last decade, supported by its deep network of Irish business leaders. Flagship investments in Irish-owned and Irish-based businesses total over €1 billion, with a selection of these including:

  • Fintrax (now called Planet), a Galway-based financial services firm and leading global provider of VAT refund and dynamic currency conversion services, was acquired by Exponent in 2012 from its founder Gerry Barry. Exponent appointed former Bank of Ireland executive Patrick Waldron as CEO, with Exponent Operating Partner and former Dell executive John Moore as Chair, selling the business in 2015. Having invested in capabilities and technology, profits doubled under Exponent’s ownership and new market entry resulted in operations in over 30 countries;
  • Enva, the leading waste management, recycling and resource recovery business in the UK and Ireland, was acquired by Exponent in 2017 as a carve-out from an Irish-headquartered and FTSE 100 company DCC plc. Exponent worked with management to turn Enva into a champion of environmental sustainability, partnering with Niall Wall, the former CEO of Ardagh Group, as Chair of the business. Today, Enva is a leading, diversified resource recovery player, significantly contributing to the circular economy in the markets in which it operates. Exponent recently announced its successful sale to a global infrastructure manager;
  • H&MV Engineering, the specialist in high-voltage electrical engineering. It is based in Limerick and serves blue-chip data centre, renewables and utilities clients across EMEA. Exponent, together with founder entrepreneur PJ Flanagan as CEO, is working with the business to accelerate its international growth, expand its design and delivery resource and improve its business development capabilities - transforming the business into a pan-European leader.