Lily O’Brien’s founder Mary Ann O’Brien told an Ulster Bank Business Women Can audience last night (27th March) that a recent investment deal, backed by Ulster Bank, would potentially double the size of the business, based in Newbridge, Co. Kildare. Lily O’Brien’s has been a customer of Ulster Bank for over 20 years. In January 2014 Carlyle Cardinal Ireland, the Irish private equity fund founded by the Carlyle Group and Cardinal Capital Group, made a significant investment in Lily O’Brien’s. Ulster Bank provided term facilities and invoice financing facilities.
Mary Ann O’Brien, who continues to have a strong influence in the business, shared her experiences of building an award winning premium chocolate and dessert manufacturer and one of Ireland’s most recognised global brands, which employs over 260 people at peak production times in Newbridge, Co. Kildare.
Speaking at the event, Mary Ann O’Brien said:
“I am delighted to speak to a group of such successful, dynamic and like-minded women and to share insights and experiences. For small and medium sized businesses the magic ingredient is passion, which has sustained me since I started Lily O’Brien’s in my kitchen in 1992. Of course, the support of your bank is always very important and Ulster Bank has given me lots of it, particularly when we secured a major investment last January.
This will allow us to potentially double the size of the business. We’re investing in our Newbridge plant. We have safeguarded existing jobs and hope to be in a position to add more over the coming years.”
Business Women Can is a specially designed Ulster Bank programme to allow business women share stories of success and support. Other speakers who shared stories of success at last night’s event included Olwen Dawe, founder of Business Intelligence; Martina Delaney, CEO of Clevamama and Ava Battles, CEO of MS Ireland.
Gemma Lynch, Director of Corporate and Institutional Banking at Ulster Bank said:
“Ulster Bank is committed to understanding the needs of business women and fostering female talent across all areas of Irish Business. We were delighted to be in a position to assist this investment in Lily O’Brien’s which will drive a significant expansion of the business. Every year, more and more women take the step of starting their own business. We pride ourselves on being bank that supports female entrepreneurship and female business leaders.”