Lioncourt’s diverse investment portfolio reflects its status as an opportunistic investor in the Irish and UK markets. The portfolio currently includes companies operating across FMCG, housebuilding, travel and education.
‘The Lioncourt team offer valuable insight supported by forensic analysis.’
Seamus Kearney, Valeo Foods CEO
Fruitfield Foods was founded in 2002 with the Lioncourt backed MBI of Nestlé’s ambient food business in Ireland.
Jacobs Biscuits was subsequently acquired from Groupe Danone in 2004, and the Jacob Fruitfield Food Group was formed.
After structuring these deals to create one of the largest food brands in Ireland, Lioncourt partnered with UK-based private equity firm Capvest and Irish-listed Origin enterprises to form Valeo Foods.
Today the Group is the largest ambient foods business in Ireland with turnover of c. €300m, encompassing brands such as Jacobs, Batchelors, Odlums, Chef, Erin, Fruitfield and Rowse honey.
Lioncourt co-founder David Andrews joined the combined Group’s Board of Directors, with former Jacob Fruitfield CEO, Seamus Kearney, named as the Group CEO.
‘Since the first day that we met I have had the confidence that we are all ‘on the same page.’’
Colin Cole, Lioncourt Homes CEO
In early 2006, Lioncourt recognised a unique opportunity to capitalise on the projected long term undersupply of housing in the UK market. Once again, people were key. Lioncourt found the right management partners in Colin Cole and Neil Chandler, both previously senior executives
at Westbury Plc.
Initially the Company engaged in the acquisition of short term land to supply the house building division. All construction is managed by Lioncourt Homes but predominantly outsourced to specialist subcontractors, reducing risk and the level of overhead in the Company.
‘David and Michael are very easy to deal with and have the tremendous ability to get on well with everyone that they meet. They put everyone at ease.’
By 2009 the launch of a strategic land initiative had created an additional dimension to the Company. In just a few short years Lioncourt Homes has become one of the fastest growing and most respected House Builders in the West Midlands. The Company is continuing to build its management team in support of its key objective of building and selling over 500 homes per annum.
‘Lioncourt have been incredibly supportive, a key component to our success.’
Karen Watson, The Real Experience Group CEO
THE rEAL eXPERIENCE gROUP
The acquisition of the The Real Experience Group (formerly Kinlay Group) in 2002, from examinership, is a prime example of Lioncourt moving quickly to avail of complex investment opportunities.
Initially The Kinlay Group comprised of USIT — one of the most recognisable brands in the Irish travel industry — as well as an accommodation business comprising three Irish hostels, a hotel and a property business.
The property and accommodation business was sold during a strong property market and the funds invested in acquiring Budget School & Group Tours. This has gone on to become Ireland’s leading second level tours business and has since extended into the UK.
‘Michael and David’s vast experience in the world of corporate finance make them invaluable when considering acquisitions in related markets.’
Today The Real Experience Group includes not only USIT and Budget School & Group Tours, but also Adventure Central, a UK based primary school activity business and LoveTEFL, which runs a series of TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) courses and places teachers in China, Thailand and other countries across the globe.
The Real Experience Group is currently adding more travel and education brands to the portfolio and continues to go from strength to strength.
‘The highest standards of service combined with the best properties, creating the most exclusive of ski holidays’
Established in Zermatt, Switzerland, in 2009, Elysian Collection (elysiancollection.com) is one of the world’s leading luxury chalet companies.
Combining world-class levels of customer service and the most luxurious, unique private ski chalets in the Alps, this Conde Nast Award winner 2014 is a leading light in the luxury travel business.