07 Jun 2018 | 04.38 pm
Irish Whiskey Growth Fund Has €10m To Lend
ISIF backing for Ilen River Partners
07 Jun 2018 | 04.38 pm
Ilen River Partners has launched the Irish Whiskey Growth Fund, the first fund established exclusively to lend to whiskey distilleries and businesses across Ireland.
The Fund initially has €10m of capital available for whiskey stock financing loans and intends to grow as required to meet demand. The Fund will be supported by leading international whiskey experts who will offer key strategic and technical input to participating businesses.
The whiskey fund has secured an undisclosed capital commitment from the Ireland Strategic Investment Fund (ISIF), which invests Ireland’s pension assets.
The Fund will provide stock-financing loans secured on borrowers’ existing whiskey stock. The Fund will not seek to appoint directors, and borrowers will remain managed and controlled by their founders or existing management and shareholders.
The Fund’s whiskey experts are Dr Alan Rutherford, Dr Gordon Steele and Jack O’Shea.
Ilen River Partners founder and managing partner Fearghal Ó Ríordáin commented: “Whiskey distilleries are playing an ever more vital role within the Irish economy. There were just two whiskey distilleries on the island in the early 1980s. There are now 18 distilleries in operation, with more distilleries in the pipeline, all contributing to Irish tourism, agriculture, trade and exports.”
“The value of Irish whiskey exports is forecast to be in excess of €850m by 2020, and on current and forecast growth levels, Irish whiskey exports will reach €2bn by 2030.
“As part of the lending process, the Fund will provide flexible, tailored financing, strategic commercial advice and specialist industry expertise for developing and growing a whiskey business. We now look forward to engaging with whiskey businesses across the country.”
Ó Ríordáin (pictured) was a partner at Scottish Equity Partners, and previously at Accel Partners. He has an MBA from INSEAD and a B.E. and M.Eng.Sc from UCC.
Ilen River Partners co-founder Triona Hourihane will manage investments for the Irish Whiskey Growth Fund. Having commenced her career with Deloitte, she moved into industry working in senior financial roles in large corporates. She holds an MBS in Finance from Smurfit Business School at UCD and a Bachelor Degree in Commerce from University College Cork.