News Release

Carlyle Cardinal Ireland (CCI) Sells Payzone to AIB and First Data for €100m


New owners to build on growth achieved under CCI

Ireland - Carlyle Cardinal Ireland has announced that Payzone, one of Ireland’s largest providers of payment solutions, is to be acquired by a newly-formed joint venture established by AIB Group plc (AIB) and First Data Corporation. The joint venture will acquire a majority stake in Payzone from existing shareholders, including Carlyle Cardinal Ireland Fund (CCI), for an enterprise value of up to €100 million.

CCI, the private equity fund established by The Carlyle Group (NASDAQ: CG) and Cardinal Capital Group, acquired a majority shareholding in Payzone in March 2015 and the company has grown strongly during the four years of CCI ownership. CCI worked closely with the management team to diversify the business and develop the company into a multichannel payments provider, employing 90 people. 

Today Payzone’s technology solutions allow both large and small Irish businesses to accept payments in store, on the road, over the phone, and through a website or app. The company processes 125 million transactions annually for 100+ client companies and operates Ireland’s largest retail payments network with 11,500+ points of sale throughout the country.

The change in ownership will have no impact on the day-to-day business operations of Payzone in Ireland. The senior management team, including Jim Deignan, CEO and Nigel Bell, CFO, will remain in their roles. 

Jim Deignan, Chief Executive, Payzone Ireland, said: “This development is a positive step for Payzone and a vote of confidence in the future of the business. We see significant opportunity to grow our footprint in the fintech sector and this can only be enhanced further with the backing and support of our new shareholders, who bring deep industry expertise to make things happen. The team at Carlyle Cardinal Ireland, which originally invested in Payzone in 2015, has worked very successfully with us to help develop the business and to support our continued growth. We thank them for their great support and investment over that period.”

Peter Garvey, Managing Director, The Carlyle Group, said: Working with the fantastic management team at Payzone, CCI’s investment in innovation and new product development has helped to accelerate the growth of the business and to transform it into one of Ireland’s most successful multi-channel payment solutions platforms. Net revenue and EBITDA have grown by 40% and 70% respectively, since we invested. Payzone still has numerous opportunities for further growth, which can now be realised with the support of the new investors. This is the fund’s third exit and once again demonstrates the benefits of active, growth-focused private equity investment for ambitious Irish businesses.”

Daragh Lane, Cardinal Capital Group said: “At CCI we believe in helping management teams grow the companies we invest in. When CCI acquired a majority shareholding in Payzone four years ago it processed 61 million transactions a year, delivering a gross transaction value of €1 billion to its customers. Today it processes 125 million transactions a year delivering in excess of €2 billion of value to its customers and is a well-established Irish fintech organisation that drives significant innovations across many traditionally cash-based markets.”

CCI representatives Peter Garvey and Robert Easton of The Carlyle Group and Daragh Lane of Cardinal Capital Group will step down from the Payzone Board on completion of the transaction, which is subject to approval from the European and Irish competition authorities.

* * * * *

Press Contacts:

Cardinal Capital Group
Tom McEnaney, McEnaney Media
Tel: +353 87 2222 666

The Carlyle Group
Laurie Mannix, MKC Communications
Tel. +353 1 703 8620 Mob: 086 814 3710

Frans van Cauwelaert, WHPR
Tel: +353 87 947 6743

About Payzone

In Ireland, Payzone is the largest consumer payments network in the country with over 7,500 retail agents which process a variety of electronic transaction services, including mobile phone top ups, debit/credit card transactions; M50 motorway toll payments; Leap travel cards, local property tax payments, parking fees, schools and clubs payment platform, pre-paid utility and parcel collection services.

The company employs over 90 people based in its Sandyford head office in Dublin.

Payzone’s focus is on delivering leading edge payment services that drive greater efficiency for clients and increased revenues for its retail partners.

As industry leader, Payzone's technology credentials, capabilities and expertise are a particular strength of the business.    


About Carlyle Cardinal Ireland

Carlyle Cardinal Ireland is a joint venture between The Carlyle Group (NASDAQ: CG) and Cardinal Capital Group.  The €292 million private equity fund is focused on growth capital and buyout investment opportunities across the island of Ireland.

About Cardinal Capital Group

Cardinal Capital Group is Ireland’s leading provider of alternative capital, directing private-equity capital, mezzanine finance and alternative lending to a broad range of sectors in the Irish market.  Cardinal invests its own capital alongside institutional funders to support entrepreneurs and corporate management teams as well as real-estate investors and developers.


About The Carlyle Group

The Carlyle Group (NASDAQ: CG) is a global investment firm with $216 billion of assets under management across 343 investment vehicles as of December 31, 2018.  Carlyle’s purpose is to invest wisely and create value on behalf of its investors, many of whom are public pensions.  Carlyle invests across four segments – Corporate Private Equity, Real Assets, Global Credit and Investment Solutions – in Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe, the Middle East, North America and South America.  Carlyle has expertise in various industries, including: aerospace, defense & government services, consumer & retail, energy, financial services, healthcare, industrial, real estate, technology & business services, telecommunications & media and transportation.  The Carlyle Group employs more than 1,650 people in 31 offices across six continents

Podcasts: commentary

# # #