The state-supported BlueBay Ireland has backed a multimillion-euro expansion of Cara Pharmacy as part of a step-up in its lending activity.
The non-bank lender financed Cara’s recent buyout of Abbey Healthcare, which has pharmacies in Dublin and Cork and supplies pharma products to nursing homes and hospitals. The deal includes warrants that allow BlueBay to subscribe for shares in Cara, which is headed by Ramona Nicholas, a former judge on the Dragons’ Den TV show.
After the Abbey deal, Cara has 16 stores and revenues of about €40m.
BlueBay is also lending €4m to finance a buyout at Openmind Networks, a messaging software group that counts large mobile operators among its customers. Its co-founders Alex Duncan and Brian Kelly will use the funds to buy out early shareholders in the company, including Atlantic Bridge Ventures and seed funder EVP.
Duncan declined to comment on the deal. Openmind made almost €190,000 operating profit in 2015 on revenues of €11.5m and said it had a “strong order backlog” .
BlueBay is separately backing an aggressive expansion by Iconic Offices, which runs 16 flexible office spaces in Dublin.
Founded by former estate agent Joe McGinley, Iconic recently announced a €2m fit-out of an office block at St Stephen’s Green in Dublin city centre.
BlueBay launched in 2013 with a €450m loan fund. Its management recently set up a new vehicle, DunPort Capital, and a new €300m fund is in the works.