Enterprise Ireland returned more than €100m in proceeds from its investments to the Treasury last year, the Irish Independent has learned.
This is believed to be the largest single amount the Agency has ever returned to public authorities in a single year and is based on record-breaking valuations for venture capital backed companies in Ireland and elsewhere in 2021. The 2021 rate of return equals 12 million euros payment for 2020.
Enterprise Ireland supports Irish companies in a range of sectors from technology to food and life sciences, often on a relatively small scale, but also by companies such as Philip O’Doherty’s E+I Engineering.
E+I was acquired by US firm Vertiv in a $2 billion deal last year after previously receiving backing from Enterprise Ireland, although the agency was not a shareholder.
The €100.1 million was paid into the Treasury by Enterprise Ireland in February this year and represented proceeds from transactions with client firms and investment funds in 2021.
Amounts invested by Enterprise Ireland for equity investments typically range from tens of thousands to hundreds of thousands of euros.
Enterprise Ireland, of which Leo Clancy is CEO, said the sum of €100 million was generated from around 250 transactions in 2021, which included the sale or redemption of its direct holdings and promissory notes in client companies, dividends and interest from those investments, Proceeds from investments in seed and venture capital funds and repayments of grants.
However, given the size of the repayments made to the Treasury, the proceeds are almost certainly windfall from some large transactions.
Despite the pandemic, 2021 was the strongest year on record for net job creation by Enterprise Ireland client companies at nearly 12,000.
Earlier this year, the agency said job creation in life sciences, business services and digital technology was particularly strong this year.
Client companies creating jobs in 2021 included Limerick-based Kirby Engineering, which announced plans to hire 300 people.
Dublin-based pharmaceutical research and development company APC said it plans to hire 120 more people.
The companies supported by Enterprise Ireland employed almost 208,000 people in 2021. The company has invested more than €28 million in Irish start-ups and supported over 125 start-ups last year.
Enterprise Ireland’s annual report for 2021 has not yet been published.
His 2020 annual report shows that his total revenue for that year was more than 1 billion euros.
Its revenues consist mainly of government funds. The figure was boosted in 2020 by €652m for the Restart grant scheme, which aims to help small businesses get back on their feet as the country grapples with the Covid crisis.
In 2020, it distributed €985 million in financial support to the Irish business community.
https://www.independent.ie/business/irish/enterprise-ireland-paid-100m-to-the-state-as-vc-deals-came-good-41741483.html Enterprise Ireland paid 100 million euros to the state when VC deals went well