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MSO Cleland scoops Insider's Deal of the Month

An investment in historic Belfast packaging company MSO Cleland – one of two investments made by the newly-launched Co-Fund NI equity fund – has secured Insider's Deal of the Month for March.

The fund, created by Invest Northern Ireland, has been set up to co-invest with business angel or private investor-led deals. It is being managed by Clarendon Fund Managers and part financed by the European Regional Development Fund.

MSO Cleland, which can trace its roots back to 1876, has secured £250,000 from the fund as part of a wider £1m funding round. This investment was alongside a number of unnamed business angels.

Dominic Walsh, chief executive of MSO Cleland, said the investment would play a "key part" in securing the future viability of the business. He added: "It will help to ensure stability and future growth in employment opportunities for our company which already employs over 200 people."

The deal was announced at Insider's Northern Ireland Business of Finance Conference, held in Belfast last week. It is one of two investments that have now been made by Co-Fund NI equity fund.

The second investment is in Cirdan Imaging, a medical device development company based in Dunmurry. It secured £163,875 from the fund as part of an equity investment round of more than £540,000.

Neil Simms, finance director of Clarendon, said: "We are delighted with the exceptionally high calibre of the first two deals completed by Co-Fund NI.

"These companies are at different stages of the business development cycle, with MSO Cleland operating for over 130 years and Cirdan Imaging being just in its second year of trading.

"Nevertheless we were struck by the similarities, in terms of the experience and entrepreneurial spirit of both management teams, and the continuous process of innovation evident in both companies’ products and services."