InsightsNewsletterRenatus’ Private Equity M&A Newsletter – 04/02/2024

Renatus’ Private Equity M&A Newsletter – 04/02/2024

04.02.2024

Thought for the Week

The WFH debate seems to have gone away a little. Camilla Cavendish is one of our favourite writers and she wrote a super piece yesterday which all makes sense. 

She rightly acknowledges that where there are proven, existing, trusted relationships, when some tasks are better done in quiet, where some working parents need flexibility or five long commutes Monday to Friday are unproductive, it makes sense. 

However focusing on the younger generations, she points to findings that ‘turning up’ may be better for your career.

Some interesting findings include:

  • A US survey in October 2022 found that 82% of Gen Z workers had never worked full-time in an office environment.
  • Juniors working from home got far less feedback.
  • A Microsoft study found that staff working remotely are less likely to get in touch with new team members.
  • In India, a trial found that workers randomly assigned to work from home were 18 per cent less productive than their peers.

Across most academic studies, hybrid work is found to have a zero or slight positive impact on performance, but this productivity focuses on ‘short-term output rather than the development of long-term attributes.’

Interestingly however, the younger generation are found to be the ones most in favour of remote work. While there are obvious benefits, the long-term impact of a lack of facetime with seniors, opportunities to socialise outside of meetings or simply learning by osmosis as seniors deal with complex client asks, is worth considering.

Productivity aside, it is human nature that facetime breeds relationships and fosters a sense of unity and camaraderie that is difficult to replicate virtually. Remote working may get the next task done faster, but, particularly for our younger generation, a lack of physical presence could well have a lasting impact on the development of softer skills and learning opportunities afforded which can form the foundation of skills relied upon in later years. Remote working has its benefits, but this is certainly one perspective worth taking into consideration.

 

Link to Article

M&A Activity

H&MV Engineering acquires Skanstec

h&mv

Deal Details: H&MV Engineering has acquired Skanstec. The deal consideration was not reported.

H&MV Engineering provides specialist electrical engineering services in three high-growth areas: data centres, renewables and utilities across EMEA. The company is headquartered in Limerick and is led by CEO, PJ Flanagan. The business was acquired by Exponent in 2022. The business does not report turnover or EBITDA information, but both companies combined are reported to have in excess of €400m in revenues.

Skanstec is an engineering company specialising in the energy and telecommunications sectors. The company is led by Declan Wynne and has operations across Europe. In FY Dec’22 the company reported a turnover of c. €20.2m which converted to an EBITDA of c. €2.1m.

Advisers:
Skanstec:
Legal: Squire Patton Boggs led by George Kennedy.
​​​​​​Corporate Finance: Clearwater led by John Curtin, John Devine and Matthew Fee.

H&MV:
None Mentioned.

Renatus Comment: H&MV is a great example of private investment backing a strong management team. PJ Flanagan started his career at the company in 1998 and rose through the ranks before leading an MBO with current executive director, John Stokes, in 2015. The company later went on to be acquired by Exponent in 2022 in a deal worth c. €150m, with the management team continuing as shareholders. Over this period, the company has experienced dramatic growth, with the announcement as part of this deal that it will create 400 new jobs in the next year alone. The acquisition of Skanstec will further enhance H&MV’s strong growth trajectory, creating a global provider of specialist design, engineering and construction services.

Source: Sunday Times

Musgrave acquires Febvre Wines

musgrave

Deal Details: Musgrave has acquired Febvre Wines. The deal is subject to CCPC approval, with the consideration not being reported.

Musgrave is an Irish food retail, wholesale and foodservice company. The company was founded in Cork by Stuart and Thomas Musgrave in 1876. The Musgrave family are still the majority shareholders of the business. In FY Dec’22 the company reported a turnover of c. €4.7bn which converted to an EBITDA of c. €188.1m.

Febvre Wines is a premium wine wholesaler that has distributed across Ireland for over 50 years. The company is headquartered in Dublin. Febvre Wines was the subject of an MBO in 2018, via an investment consortium led by Shane Taggart. In FY Dec’22 the business reported a turnover of c. €22.7m which converted to an EBITDA of c. €1.5m.

Advisers:
Febvre Wines:
Legal: Holmes led by Stephen Walker, Susan O’Reilly and Brian Moynihan.
Financial: FM Accountants led by Cormac Mohan.

Musgrave:
Deal Advisory: KPMG.

Renatus Comment: Musgrave’s acquisition strategy has focused on its foodservice and wholesale business in recent years, in particular on broadening the range of cuisines on offer. Recent acquisitions have included Italicatessen, an Italian food and wine importer, Ritter Courivaud, the UK fine food distributor, and now Febvre. On release of its 2022 results in November, CEO Noel Keeley highlighted the strong performance of the foodservice segment of the Group as being the primary driver of growth in the year, with Musgrave noted as being the partner of choice for three quarters of Ireland’s hotels.

Source: Business Plus

Hotels Properties Group acquires Wellington Hotel

Hotels Properties Group

Deal Details: Hotels Properties Group has acquired The Wellington Hotel. The deal consideration is reported to be c. €14m.

Hotels Properties Group is an independent family-owned property development, management and hospitality group. The group is currently responsible for a number of hotels, pubs and B&Bs. The group does not report turnover or EBITDA information.

The Wellington Hotel is based in Dublin’s Temple Bar. The newly developed hotel comprises 38 bedrooms alongside bar and restaurant facilities. It was first offered for sale in May 2022 with a price tag of €18m. The business does not report turnover or EBITDA information.

Advisers: None Mentioned.

Renatus Comment: There has been significant M&A activity in the Irish hospitality sector in recent months, with a reported €600m of transactions completed in 2023, per CBRE, with the sale of the Dean Hotel Group for c. €350m being the largest. Deloitte’s 2023 European Hotel Industry Survey named Dublin as the eighth most attractive European city for hotel investment. Despite elevated interest rates, inflated operating costs and a shortage of labour in the hospitality industry, investors appear undeterred. The report noted that large international brands are entering this market, emphasising the attractiveness of the Irish market in an international context.

Source: Irish Times

Northside Graphics Limited acquired by Bestport Private Equity

Northside Graphics Limited

Deal Details: Northside Graphics Limited has been acquired by Bestport Private Equity. The deal consideration was not reported.

Northside Graphics is an online digital printing platform business based in Belfast. The company was founded in 1988. Since 2010 the company has been been operated by Gary and Neil White alongside MD Richard Campbell who have led the business’ transition towards online digital printing. The company does not report revenue or EBITDA information.

Bestport Private Equity is a London based private equity firm.

Advisers:
Northside Graphics:
Legal: A&L Goodbody
Corporate Finance: Beltrae Partners led by David McCloy and James Donnelly.
FDD: KPMG led by Neil O’Hare and Gavin Early.
Tax: KPMG led by Sara Hamill.

Bestport:
Legal: Ward Hadaway LLP

Renatus Comment: Digital media has been the primary disruptor of the printing industry in recent years, with consumer preferences continuing to move digital.. As a result, consolidation plays have been one key strategy for incumbents in the printing industry to secure their market position. A recent example is the acquisition of Print Glaze Group by PrintG in late 2023. The continuation of this trend looks likely, with Bestport having outlined its intention to grow Northside Graphics both organically and via acquisition in the coming years

Source: Irish News

MeHow Medical Ireland acquired by Indutrade

Northside Graphics Limited

Deal Details: MeHow Medical Ireland has been acquired by Indutrade. The deal consideration was not reported.

MeHow Medical is a manufacturer of injection moulded components serving OEM’s in the medical device industry. The business was founded in 2007 in Wicklow and currently employees 56 employees. The company is owned by Anthony Hughes and Derek Kelly. The business reportedly had turnover of c. €14m and EBITDA of c. €2m last year.

Indutrade is an international technology and industrial group that acquires and develops companies with high technical expertise and strong customer and supplier relationships. The group consists of c. 200 companies across 30 countries. The company is led by CEO and President Bo Annvik. It had FY Dec’22 turnover of c. €2.54bn, which converted to an EBITDA of c. €408m.

Advisers:
MeHow Medical Ireland:
Corporate Finance: Davy led by Jonathan Simmons, Barry O’Donovan, Ciara O’Mongain and Megan O’Hanlon.
Legal: Addleshaw Goddard led by Doreen Mescal, Peter Woods, Sean Twomey, Robert Upton, Robert Dooney, Rachel Kennedy and Phoebe Liang.

Indutrade:
None Mentioned

Renatus Comment: Ireland’s medical device industry continues to see significant foreign investment. Recent acquisitions in the space include US-based Medical Manufacturing Technologies acquiring Somex Automation Teoranta and Ward Automation back in May 2023, and UK-based Advanced Medical Solutions Group’s acquisition of Connexicon Medical back in February 2023. As the largest employer per capita of medical device professionals and the second largest exporter of medical device products in Europe, the medical device cluster in Ireland is ideal for companies looking to acquire in this sector.

Source: Indutrade Press Release

Eight Degrees Brewing Co acquired by its Founders

Eight Degrees Brewing Co

Deal Details: Eight Degrees Brewing Co has been bought back by the original founders, Scott Baigent and Cam Wallace, from Irish Distillers Limited. The deal consideration was not reported.

Eight Degrees Brewing Co is an alcoholic microbrewery based in Cork. The company was founded by Scott Baigent and Cam Wallace in 2010 and was later sold to Irish Distillers in 2018 for an undisclosed amount. Irish Distillers will continue to distribute Eight Degrees’ beers post-acquisition. The company does not report turnover or EBITDA information.

Irish Distillers, a subsidiary of Pernod Ricard, is a leading supplier of alcoholic beverages headquartered in Dublin, with further operations in Cork and Belfast. The company specialises in whiskey including Jameson. It does not report turnover or EBITDA information.

Advisers: ​​None Mentioned. ​​​​

Renatus Comment: Scott Baigent and Cam Wallace are returning to the business they founded, which has increased in scale over recent years. Irish Distillers has invested in the completion of Eight Degrees’ new brewery in Mitchelstown. The original rationale for Irish Distillers’ acquisition was to ensure a long-term beer supply to support the growth of Jameson’s Caskmates brand, with Irish Distillers having been unable to secure sufficient volumes through Franciscan Well and Molson Coors prior to 2018.

Source: Irish Examiner

Simon Brien Residential acquired by Sherry FitzGerald Group

sherry-fitzgerald-logo-vector

Deal Details: Simon Brien Residential has been acquired by Sherry FitzGerald Group. The deal consideration was not reported.

Simon Brien Residential is a Northern Ireland based estate agent. The company is majority owned by managing director Simon Brien. The business has four offices in Belfast and Co. Down with 35 staff across its offices. The business will continue trading under its own brand with the same management team in place. The company does not report revenue or EBITDA information.

Sherry FitzGerald Group is a property advisory firm based in Dublin. The firm was founded in 1982 and now employs over 650 people across 100 offices nationwide. It was acquired for a reported €50m by Tommy Kelly’s Castlegate Investments in 2022. The company does not report revenue of EBITDA information.

Advisers: None Mentioned

Renatus Comment: Sherry Fitzgerald’s acquisition of Simon Brien Residential marks the groups first strategic venture in the Northern Irish market. Last year the group sold 8,600 homes, with a capital value of €3.8 billion in the Irish residential market. This investment into Northern Ireland presents the group with a platform for further growth in this market. According to a BBC report, despite rising interest rates, there is robust growth in house prices in Northern Ireland. It reported that in the third quarter of 2023, prices were up 3.1% compared to the second quarter and were 2.1% higher than the same period last year.

Source: Belfast Telegraph

Deal Updates & Other News

Flutter Entertainment launches on the NYSE

Deal Details:  Flutter Entertainment, owner of the betting platform Paddy Power, has launched on the New York Stock Exchange. It announced in December last year that it would delist from the Euronext Dublin Exchange and focus on just two public listings in the US and London. On its first day on Wall Street, Flutter gained more than 3%, closing with a $212 share price.

Advisors:
Legal: Arthur Cox

Source: Irish Examiner

Sysco Ireland cleared to acquire Ready Chef

Deal Details: Sysco Ireland, a leading food service provider based in Dublin, has been cleared to acquire Ready Chef by the CCPC. The acquisition was reported in our December 10th newsletter. Deal consideration has not been disclosed.

Sysco:
Financial: Deloitte led by Conor Cullen.
Tax: Deloitte led by Carmel Marnane.

Ready Chef:
Corporate Finance: Coombes Corporate Finance led by Frank Coombes.
Legal: Dillon Solicitors led by Brendan Dillon.
Tax: BCA Tax & Business Consultants led by Caroline McGrath

Source: Irish Times

Company Performance

EBITDA  is an accounting term and is often the best indicator of profitability in non-capital intensive businesses before financing and tax are considered. In capital-intensive businesses EBIT or EBITDA less average Capital Expenditure are often better measures. YoY is an acronym for the year-on-year movement in turnover, EBITDA, etc.

P&D Lydon is a civil engineering business specialising in construction plant and equipment based in Mayo. It is owned by Attracta and Patrick Lydon.

In its financial year to December 2022, the business generated a turnover of c. €21.0m, an increase of 13.9% year-on-year. This converted to an EBITDA of c. €4.1m, an increase of 19.1% year-on-year. Gross margins improved marginally year-on-year, with a reduction in government grants also contributing to EBITDA margin growth.

Significant post-EBITDA cash movements include working capital investment of c. €1.4m and the purchase of tangible fixed assets of c. €3.5m. The business finished the year with a cash balance of c. €7.1m, an decrease of c. €215k year-on-year.

The business employed an average of 87 people over the period at a total cost of c. €5.0m.

Fundraisings

Who: Moby, a bike sharing start-up with operations in Ireland, Britain, Holland and the US.

What: The company has raised €2.85m in equity funding through the Employment & Investment Incentive Scheme (EIIS).

Advisors: CKS Finance led by Conor Sheahan.

Why: The funds will be used to expand across Europe and to develop a new app-less bike rental process and charging technology.

Source: Business Post

Who: CitySwift, a tech-driven data analytics platform focused on the public transport network.

What: The company has raised €7m in funding led by Gresham House Ventures.

Advisors: CKS Finance led by Conor Sheahan.

Why: The funds will be used to double the workforce and scale the platform and its end-to-end client services.

Source: Irish Times

Who: EOS IT Solutions, a supplier of audio-visual and video-conferencing technology based in Down.

What: The company has secured $100m from HSBC UK supported by UK Export Finance (UKEF).

Why: The funding will be used to grow the business’ products and services internationally and expand its workforce. 

Source: Belfast Telegraph

Who: Catagen, which helps companies to decarbonise emissions.

What: The business has received £1m in funding from the Growth Finance Fund backed by the British Business Bank, Invest NI and private investors.

Why: The funding will be used to further develop its green technologies.

Source: Irish Times

Who: Cumulus Neuroscience, the developer of a wearable headset that measures cognitive fitness.

What: The business has raised £11.1m from undisclosed investors.

Why: The funding will be used to continue the development of the business’ product.

Source: Business Post

Who: SimpleStudy, a Cork-based exam preparation startup.

What: The business has raised €750k in a pre-seed funding round led by Des Traynor and Ciaran Lee, founders of Intercom.

Why: The funding will be used to accelerate the business’ growth plans as it targets the UK market.

Source: Business Post

Executive and Board Appointments

Janice Daly

Janice Daly

Source:
(Google Images & LinkedIn)

GRANT THORNTON
Janice Daly Bio

John Healy

Source:
(Google Images & LinkedIn)

invest northern ireland
john healy bio

@RenatusCapital Tweets

28%

The decrease in job vacancies in Q4 2023 compared to Q4 2022, according to @IrishJobs

27%

The decline in available properties for sale in Ireland compared to January 2023, according to @SherryFitzGeral

€706m

The value of venture capital investments into Irish companies last year, a decrease of 34% compared to 2022 according to @KPMG

11.8

The rise in the Credit Union Consumer Sentiment Index from 62.4 points in December 2023 to 74.2 points in January according to @CoreResearch

About Renatus

Renatus was established in 2014 to provide growth funding to growing Irish SMEs and to partner with ambitious management teams to help companies reach their full potential.

Renatus targets companies with sustainable earnings of €1m+ and valuations typically in the range of €5m – €20m. Our typical solutions include:

  • Succession planning
  • Management buyouts
  • Management buy-ins
  • Growth financing – both organic and acquisition growth financing
  • Full and partial share sale

Our Family of Investments

Current Portfolio:

Flew the Nest:


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