InsightsNewsletterRenatus’ Weekly M&A Newsletter – 01/08/2021

Renatus’ Weekly M&A Newsletter – 01/08/2021

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Dear Reader,

Please find below this week’s newsletter covering the latest M&A, company performance, fundraisings and executive moves.

M&A Activity

Cardinal Capital invests in Travelwin


Deal Details: Cardinal Capital Group, through its Cardinal Partners Ireland fund, has invested in Travelwin Group’s electronic SIM technology venture Sim Local.

This is the third investment of Cardinal’s €250m fund, which is dedicated to growth investments for companies across the island of Ireland.

Dublin-based Sim Local, founded in 2011 by its CEO Killian Whelan, sells pre-paid SIM cards that international travellers can purchase to give them access to local mobile phone tariffs, rather than pay roaming charges. In 2019 Sim Local sold from 300 contracted sales points across Europe and the US and served 700,000 customers.

Advisers: None mentioned

Renatus Comment: Sim Local’s target market is international travellers and offering them a solution to avoid expensive roaming charges. The business is reported to have taken a hit during covid, but this investment is a signal from Cardinal in its confidence in a return to international travel post-covid. At June 2021, international passenger demand was 80.9% below the June 2019 level, an improvement from 85.4% in May 2021, with all regions bar Asia-Pacific showing improving trends. Hopefully with growing vaccine coverage and covid passports, international travel will make a steeper recovery in the second half of the year.

Source: Silicon Republic

Euroflex TEO is acquired by PorAmpac


Deal Details: County Donegal-based Euroflex TEO has been acquired by global packaging company ProAmpac for an undisclosed amount.

Based in Cincinnati, leading global flexible packaging company ProAmpac is owned by Pritzker Private Capital along with management and other co-investors.

Euroflex Teo, owned by Derek Richardson, is a supplier of protein packaging products to meat, cheese and dairy industries in Ireland. To Dec 2020, the business reported revenues of c. €14.2m and EBITDA of c. €1.3m.

Advisers: Euroflex received legal advice from Dillon Eustace, led by Lorcan Tiernan.

Renatus Comment: The private equity backed ProAmpac is reported to be looking at the Euroflex deal as a way to immediately improve its product range and get immediate access to a new market and customer set. The alternative of organic development of a new facility is slow doesn’t give the potential incremental earnings boost of strategic acquisitions.

Source: ProAmpac press release

Digitary merges with Parchment


Deal Details: Irish digital credentials expert Digitary has merged with US-based Parchment.

Digitary, founded in Dublin in 2005, develops web-based software that enables institutions to securely issue academic awards and other official documents online. Higher education providers use Digitary to eliminate credential fraud, improve service levels, and increase efficiencies.

Parchment is a leading platform for the secure issuing and exchange of academic credentials such as transcripts, diplomas, certifications, digital badges, graduation/degree verifications, and more.

Advisers: Paul Keenan & Alan Dunne of Capnua advised Digitary

Renatus Comment: Founded in 2005 by Andy Dowling and with ownership now including key employees, this looks to be an exciting next step for the team in Digitary. Combining with the US focused Parchment business will give the combined entity an expanded global reach from which to service its customers.

Source: Digitary press release

Smurfit Kappa acquires Verzuolo


Deal Details: Smurfit Kappa Group has acquired Italian containerboard business Verzuolo for a cash consideration of €360m from the Burgo Group.

Verzuolo is highly complementary to SKG’s existing business and is strategically positioned to serve both the Southern European region and other markets ensuring they continue to provide the best service to its corrugated customers.

The state of the art recycled containerboard facility with 600,000 tonne capacity is strategically located close to the port of Savona in the northwest of Italy.

Advisers: None mentioned.

Renatus Comment: This deal quickly follows on from Smurfit’s acquisition of Mexico-based Carton box earlier this month and further expands Smurfit’s production capacity in an industry that faced supply disruptions and shortages of packaging papers which has led to pressure in input costs.

Smurfit’s integrated business model has partially insulated it from these events and allowed it to keep continuity of supply to its customers. Markets have responded favourably to Smurfit’s recent activity with the share price rising by c. 67% in the last 12 months.

Source: Smurfit Kappa Group press release

SilverCloud Health is acquired by Amwell


Deal Details: Irish-founded mental health platform SilverCloud Health, along with Conversa Health, has been acquired by Amwell in a deal reported to be worth €270m.

Award-winning SilverCloud Health delivers a range of digital cognitive behavioral health programs that are evidence-based and clinically validated.

NY-based Conversa Health helps leading healthcare organizations to remotely manage and engage patients by delivering configurable, automated text-based conversations to support a wide range of clinical needs.

Amwell is a leading telehealth platform in the United States and globally, connecting and enabling providers, insurers, patients, and innovators to deliver greater access to more affordable, higher quality care.

Advisers: Barclays acted as exclusive financial advisor and Ropes & Gray LLP acted as legal counsel to Amwell on both transactions.

Cantor Fitzgerald & Co. Acted as exclusive financial advisor to Silver Cloud Health.

Renatus Comment: A spin-out from a collaborative project between the National Digital Research Centre (NDRC), Mater University Hospital and Trinity College Dublin, SilverCloud was founded by Ken Cahill (CEO), James Bligh (CTO), Karen Tierney (CPO), Dr. John Sharry (Clinical Director), and Dr. Gavin Doherty (UX Director) in 2012 after more than 10 years of advanced clinical and academic research. The business has gone on to raise c. €25m of funding since 2012 with investors including Dublin Business Innovation Centre, Investec Ventures, AIB Seed Capital Fund, ACT Venture Capital, Enterprise Ireland, among others. This exit looks to be a great success for all involved.

Source: Amwell press release

NFP Acquires Aiken Insurances


Deal Details: International insurance broker and consultant NFP has acquired Aiken Insurances Limited. No deal terms were disclosed.

NFP is a global business with its HQ in the US and offices across North America and Europe, employing more than 6,000 people.

Founded in 1989 by the late Patrick Aiken, Dublin-based AIL is a retail and commercial insurance broker, with a strong reputation in the commercial risk field. The business was majority owned by Cara Aiken, with key management also having a shareholding.

Advisers: None mentioned.

Renatus Comment: The insurance space continues to be one of our most reported on sectors. With NFP’s entry into the Irish market and its stated intention to make further acquisitions in Ireland, we expect a lot more M&A activity in the sector.

Source: NFPpress release

CubeMatch acquires Bishopsgate


Deal Details: Irish-headquartered change management consultancy CubeMatch has acquired Bishopsgate Financial Consultancy for an undisclosed sum.

CubeMatch is a global change and transformation consultancy excelling in complex and highly regulated financial services environments.

London-headquartered Bishopsgate has a track record with leading international financial services organisations.

The combined business will have more than 250 employees, 40 customers and projected revenues of close to €30m as well as operations across Ireland, the UK, Amsterdam, Frankfurt, Singapore and Chennai.

Advisers: Kieran Regan of ReganWall advised CubeMatch on the acquisition.

Renatus Comment: Dublin-based CubeMatch was founded in 2002, CubeMatch is led by CEO Thomas Melville. This deal will give the business an immediate presence in the UK market and access to an existing client base on which it can build its UK business. In Renatus, we are speaking with a lot of Irish businesses about supporting them to acquire complementary businesses in the UK as part of their expansion plans.


Brooklyn ImmunoTherapeutics acquires Novellus Therapeutics


Deal Details: NYSE-listed Brooklyn ImmunoTherapeutics, Inc. a biopharmaceutical company has completed its acquisition of Novellus Therapeutics Limited. Novellus develops next-generation engineered stem cell therapies. The deal is reported to have been for c. $125m.

Advisers: Philip Lee M&A, led by Andy McConnell provided legal advice to Novellus Therapeutics.

Renatus Comment: It is reported that the acquisition will advance Brooklyn’s evolution into a platform company with a pipeline of next-generation engineered cellular, gene editing and cytokine programs.

Source: Brooklyn ImmunoTherapeutics press release.

Deal Updates & Other News

Total Produce completes merger with Dole

Deal Details: The previously reported merger between Total Produce and Dole completed last week with its combined listing on the New York Stock Exchange. The combined business has a market cap of c. €1.12bn.

Source: Sunday Times

Aercap takeover of Gecas gets EU approval

Deal Details: Irish aviation group Aercap’s acquisition of GE Capital Aviation Services (Gecas) is approved by the European Commission.

The €25bn deal creates the world’s biggest aircraft lessor with a fleet of more than 2,000 planes, 300 helicopters and 900 engines and it will have an order book of 500 aircraft.

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.


Independent Irish Health Foods Ltd. has been in business since May 2008. Based in the West Cork Gaeltacht area of Baile Mhúirne, the business operates from a 24k sq. ft. warehouse, and stocks over 12,000 lines across prepacks, chilled, frozen, ambient (food and drinks), supplements, body care, household, gifts, lifestyle accessories and baby.

In a positive financial year, the business reported revenue of c. €23.4m (up 6.6% YoY) and EBITDA of c. €1.1m (up 8.7% YoY). EBITDA converted to a net cash increase of c. €867k to leave an ending balance of c. €2.7m.

Independent Irish Health Foods Ltd is owned by Southwestern Star Ltd which is in turn owned by Richard Wilkins and Henry Barlett. The business employed an average of 103 people at a cost of c. €3.8m during the year.



Who: Limerick-based mineral refinery Aughinish Alumina has been granted funding.

What: The undisclosed amount was granted by the EU.

Why: Funding was given to reduce its carbon footprint.

Source: Independent

Who: Luna Connect, a digital lending software platform with a target market of smaller financial institutions. The business was founded in 2017 by Brian D’Arcy.

What: The business has raised €800,000 of seed funding, with backers including Enterprise Ireland and NDRC Portershed.

Why: Continued development of the business.

Source: Business Post

Who: Finbourne, an Irish-led and co-founded data integration and management platform for investment firms. Founded in 2016 by a team of former UBS and Nomura bankers, including Irish men Tom McHugh (CEO) and Dermot Shortt (Chairman).

What: The business has raised £15m in a series A funding round.

Why: Continued development of the business.

Source: Sunday Independent

Who: Payzaar, a payroll management platform for companies with global workforces. Founded in 2016 by Marc-Olivier Fiedler and Trevor Townsend.

What:  The business has raised a €2m funding round. Backers include Cord-based Domino’s Pizza franchisee Cathal McDonnell, David Lawrence of Pegasus corporate finance, and Oliver Samwer, the German billionaire founder of Rocket Internet.

Why: Continued development of the business.

Source: Sunday Times

Who: Coindrum, a hardware solution for airports that allows travellers to convert local currency coins into vouchers for a 10 per cent higher amount. Founded by Lukas Decker.

What:  It is reported that Suretank entrepreneur Patrick Joy has invested in the business. Irelandia’s Declan Ryan is also a backer.

Why: Not reported.

Source: Sunday Times

Who: Hosted Kitchens, a virtual restaurant business founded in late 2020 by Sean Murray.

What:  The business has raised a €1.25m seed round from a number of private investors.

Why: The funding will be used to set up additional kitchens and bring headcount up to 20 this year.

Source: Business Post

Executive and Board Appointments

We in Renatus believe that more important than the deals are the people and we have teamed up with leaders in this field Korn Ferry to provide you with details of key recent executive and board level appointments.

Tom Lynch


(Google Images & LinkedIn)


Lorcan Tiernan


(Google Images & LinkedIn)


Sally Ann Gannon


(Google Images & LinkedIn)


Anne Sheehan


(Google Images & LinkedIn)


Thought for the Week

Data is emerging showing the real effect of covid on patterns. Fitzgerald Power have collated an interesting array of stats; the one that stuck out for me was the google mobility tracking of footfall the western cities being almost flat and Dublin being down 23% in Q2 2021.

There have been fortunes spent over the years on failed decentralisation plans and covid has delivered it, albeit inadvertently. It will be very interesting to review this again in Q4 this year and how much of this sustains into 2022.

The Q2 report is attached here with the various snapshot stats.

@RenatusCapital Tweets

45.4% 52.5%

The YoY rise in Irish mortgage drawdowns volume and value, respectively, for Q2 2021 amounting to 9,625 mortgages to the value of €2.23bn. Q2 2020 was the beginning of the Covid pandemic. @IrishTimesBiz

10.6% &13.9%

The year-on-year increase in the Irish retail sales volume and value indices, respectively, for June 2021. The most notable changes were in Bars (+184%) and Books, Newspapers & Stationery (+46.8%), according to @CSOIreland


The increase in the Irish retail sales volume for June 2021 vs pre-covid June 2019 with the most significant changes in Bars (-48%) and Other Retail Sales (+33.8%), according to @CSOIreland

180% & 105%

The year-on-year increase in the Irish overseas arrivals and departures, respectively, for June 2021 amounting to 160K arrivals and 199K departures. When compared against pre-covid June 2019 the respective figures were 92% & 90% lower. @CSOIreland


The year-on-year increase in the Irish residential property completions for Q2 2021 amounting to 5,021 completions across all dwelling types (single, scheme, apartments), according to @CSOIreland

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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