Please find below this week’s newsletter covering the latest M&A, company performance, fundraisings and executive moves.
Deal Details: Dublin-based ecommerce company eShopWorld (ESW) has sold the remaining 50% stake in the business to Asendia, a joint venture between La Poste group and Swiss Post.
The financial details have not been disclosed however industry sources estimate the transaction valued the company at about €1bn.
eShopWorld was founded in 2010 by Tommy Kelly. It’s one of the world’s leading global eCommerce platforms with 500 employees in Dublin, the US and Singapore.
It’s technology helps to handle a range of services for clients, from dealing with taxes and tariffs, to delivery, returns, fraud protection and data security.
ESW, while completely owned by Asendia, will remain a stand-alone entity, with the current management remaining.
Asendia, formed in 2012, covers all international mail solutions, including the dispatch and delivery of mail, catalogues, press and small goods.
Asendia previously increased its stake in ESW to 50% from 40% in 2017. At that point the company was valued at €300m.
Advisers: None Mentioned
Renatus Comment: As an E-commerce enabler, eShopWorld has been a real winner from the pandemic-fuelled shift to online purchasing. The company has been on a phenomenal growth trajectory the last couple of years with revenue growing from c. €211m in FY16 to c. €508m in FY19.
This transaction gives eShopWorld a reported valuation of over €1bn, making it part of an elite club of Irish-founded tech firms that have achieved unicorn status which include Intercom, Workhuman and Stripe.
Source: eShopWorld; Irish Times
Deal Details: CapVest has agreed to the sale of Eight Fifty Food Group, which owns Irish companies Carroll Cuisine and M&M Walshe, for an undisclosed sum to Sofina Foods Inc.
The deal is subject to regulatory approval.
Eight Fifty is a supplier of both branded and own-label seafood and pork. The pork division is one of the largest processors and suppliers of products across Britain and Ireland.
The group employs about 8,300 people, across 23 manufacturing sites.
Sofina Foods is one of Canada’s largest food producers and has a 25-year history of acquisitions, growth and success.
Following the deal, the company will have over 13,000 employees globally and near $6bn in annual revenue.
Advisers: None Mentioned
Renatus Comment: This is a great case study of what a private equity partnership can bring to ambitious companies and management teams.
At the time of CapVest’s original investment in 2017, the company was a UK-only pork supplier generating less than £500m in sales. Through a combination of organic and acquisitive growth, today Eight Fifty Group is a European multi-protein speciality with over £2bn in sales.
During the four years, Eight Fifty made a number of acquisitions, including Young’s Seafood, M&M Walshe Holdings, Greenland Seafood and, most recently, acquired Carroll’s Cuisine which was backed by Carlyle Cardinal Ireland.
Source: Eight Fifty Food Group
Deal Details: Greencoat Renewables has acquired Glencarby Wind Farm from John Laing Group for an undisclosed sum.
The 35.6MW wind farm consisting of 12 Nordex turbines has been in operation since 2017.
This acquisition boosts Greencoat’s total capacity to 685.6MW.
It is reported that London-based Greencoat Capital is in the early stages of speaking to potential advisers as it weighs up it’s strategic options.
Advisers: None Mentioned
Renatus Comment: Greencoat continues to be one of the most frequent features in this newsletter, having just recently acquired Cordal wind farm in Kerry in February of this year. The Group has relied heavily on acquisitions as a way to grow its portfolio of renewable energy assets.
It has grown its capacity by 45% in two years to 557MW and increased its net cash generation by 87% to €66.4m in 2020. Today, it holds 14% of the Irish renewables market.
Source: Irish Times
Deal Details: Irish marine developer Simply Blue Energy and Luxembourg-based subsea engineering company Subsea 7 have formed a joint venture to develop a floating wind farm off the coast of Scotland.
The 200MW Salamander wind farm concept is a pre-commercial project.
In January, Shell acquired a 51% stake in Simply Blue Energy’s joint venture, Kinsale.
The joint venture company develops the Emerald Project, a floating 300MW offshore wind farm in the Celtic Sea off the coast of Ireland.
Advisers: Feilim O’Caoimh, corporate partner and head of Fieldfisher’s renewable energy team in Dublin, led the team advising Simply Blue on the project, supported by corporate solicitor Jamie Woodcock.
Renatus Comment: This isn’t Simply Blue Energy’s first venture into floating wind farm development. Last year, Simply Blue Energy entered into a joint venture with Total New Energies to develop floating wind sites in the Welsh sea.
Offshore wind is becoming a more favoured form of renewable energy and is expected to produce between 7% and 11% of the EU’s electricity demand by 2030. Simply Blue Energy is positioning itself as a leader in this space.
Deal Details: In the Style, a UK-based online women’s fashion e-tailor, completed its initial public offering on March 15th. The business is led by CEO Adam Frisby.
Demand for the shares were significantly over subscribed. The IPO was expecting to raise gross proceeds of c. £56m, £9m of which would be used on a host of investments, including growing and developing its social media influencer network, entry into certain international markets, moving to larger warehouses, among other activities.
£47m of the proceeds were used to facilitate a partial realisation for the shareholders. Causeway Capital Partners invested in the business in 2018 and will retain a 14.5% stake post-IPO and the senior management will retain a 27.3% stake.
Advisers: Liberum Capital Limited were the Nominated Adviser, Broker and Bookrunner.
Renatus Comment: 2020 was a substantial growth year for the company, with revenue more than doubling during the period versus the prior year. The company generated c. £35m for the nine months ending December 2020, up £21m versus the same period for the prior year.
Source: In The Style press release
Deal Details: FRS Recruitment has acquired staffing start-up Get the Shifts for an undisclosed amount.
Tipperary-based FRS Recruitment is a nationwide co-operative recruitment agency founded in 1980 with 10 offices around the country.
Get the Shifts, based in Co Clare, hires temporary workers for hospitality businesses, shops and marketing organisations. The company can provide between one and 500 staff at a time with as little as three hours’ notice.
Under the deal’s terms Get the Shifts will become a division of FRS Recruitment.
Hannah Wrixon, the Clare company’s chief executive, will be the division’s general manager, while all Get the Shifts staff will move to FRS.
Prior to the transaction, Get the Shift was 100% owned by Hannah Wrixon and latest financials for the company show that it made a net profit of c. €40k in FY20.
Advisors: Ronan Murray, Deloitte’s Munster based Corporate Finance Partner & Kate Nicholas, Associate Director provided Transaction Services to FRS Recruitment.
George Kennedy’s team, led by Neil O’Gorman, of Holmes O’Malley Sexton acted for Hannah Wrixon in the sale of Get the Shifts.
Renatus Comment: This acquisition looks like a natural fit for FRS as it already has a Temporary Workforce arm and has operations in the four areas that Get the Shift specialise in: Office, Marketing, Industrial and Hospitality.
Source: Irish Times
Eire Born Spirits, the whiskey distillery founded by Conor McGregor and maker of the Proper No Twelve whiskey, is reported to be in the process of being sold Mexican drinks group Becle at a valuation of more than €255m.
Becle initially took a 20% stake in the business in 2018, followed by an additional 29% stake a year ago. The acquisition of the remaining 51% will be funded through a debt raise and cash reserves.
Source: Sunday Times
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
Based in Wicklow, Multilane Limited’s principal activity is the operation of The Martello Hotel and the Harbour Bar in Bray.
In FY19, Multilane’s revenue increased by c. 2% to c. €11m while EBITDA increased by c. 18% to c. €1.0m. The EBITDA outperformance came from a slight improvement in gross margins during the period to 68%.
Cash decreased by c. €18k to end at c. €2k at the period end. The biggest drains on cash were €593k of fixed asset additions and loan repayments of €360k.
The business employed 208 staff during the year and is owned by Joseph (50%), Brendan (25%) and John Duggan (25%).
Wirtgen Ireland Limited, based in Enfield Co. Meath, is a distributor of road making equipment manufactured by the Wirtgen Group.
FY19 was a strong year for the business which saw revenue increase by c. 79% to €23m and EBITDA increase by 130% to €1.3m.
Cash decreased by €910k during the year to end at c. €570k. The biggest drain on cash during the period was a c. €2.0m investment into working capital.
The business employs a total of 12 staff at an annual cost of c. €960k. The business is a subsidiary of the Wirtgen Group, which is a subsidiary of Deere & Company.
Who: Caren Meicinic, a company founded by Des and Colm Caren that has developed an innovative green energy solution. Its patented turbine has the potential to produce limitless power and a by-product of clean water once it has initially been powered via an external power source.
What: The company has raised €1m in seed funding. The funding is reportedly to have predominantly come from family and friends.
Advisors: Mike Hayes, global head of renewables at KPMG, is working with the founders: “I’m championing this promising technology on a pro-bono basis because companies like KPMG have a responsibility to support climate tech innovators like the Carens”.
Why: Funds will likely be used to support the research and the development of the solution.
Source: Sunday Independent
Who: Belfast medical imaging company Axial3D receives investment.
What: £3m (€3.52m) funding round was supported by existing and new investors including Techstart NI, Co-Fund NI, Invest NI’s new Covid-19 Equity Investment Fund, and Future Fund, backed by the British Business Bank.
Why: The investment will help Axial3D respond to Covid-19, build on its international success and aid its future growth ambitions. The company said it will create 20 new jobs following the investment.
Source: Belfast Telegraph
Who: SeeMeHired.com, a Belfast-based hiring software solutions business, secures funding.
What: £300,000 (€352,441) comes from private investors through the Halo Business Angel Network (HBAN), alongside funding from the COVID-19 Equity Investment Fund (CEIF) and Co-Fund NI, part of Invest Northern Ireland’s Access to Finance portfolio.
Why: The funds will be used to grow its business.
Source: Belfast Telegraph
Who: Luna Systems, an Irish e-mobility start-up, secures funding.
What: The investment amount by Brian O’Driscoll and two business partners was not disclosed.
Advisers: Maples and Calder team, led by Partner Patrick Quinlan, advised Luna Systems on the Irish corporate legal aspects of the transaction.
Why: The funding will be used to accelerate the global roll-out of Luna Systems’ technology across a range of cities, operators and vehicle types.
Source: Maples & Calder (Ireland) LLP
Who: Linen Mill Studios, one of the key production sites for the Game of Thrones television show.
What: The company has secured £10m (€11.75m) in funding from Barclays that will part-fund the £36.5m (€42.9m) attraction development. Barclays has been appointed as the new corporate banking partner as part of the deal.
Linen Mill Studios also secured £3.5m (€4.11m) of funding through Whiterock Finance’s Growth Finance Fund and Growth Loan Fund II.
Why: The funds will be used towards developing the 10,000 square metre visitor attraction containing a studio tour with iconic sets, props and costumes from the series. The tour will also promote the creative industries behind Game of Thrones.
Source: Belfast Telegraph
Who: Solar AdTek, a provider of solar-powered LED lighting systems used in outdoor advertising displays such as bus shelters and billboards. The business is led by Eoin O’Broin.
What: Patrick Joy (Suretank) is reported to have backed the company. Solar AdTek’s other backers include the Bolger family (Modern Plant), members of the Crampton building dynasty, Peter Boylan (Rotunda) and Philip Boylan.
Why: There was no stated use for the funds raised.
Source: Sunday Times
Who: Oxygean, a social media company focused on the younger generation founded by Bernard Flynn and Linda Davis.
What: The Power family, the largest private shareholders in Flutter, are reported to have participated in a funding round.
Why: There was no use for the funds raised stated.
Source: Sunday Times
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.
Professional gambling organisations who run algorithms on betting profit from betting against the masses who generally have what they call a ‘recent form bias’ I.e. concluding on a horses chances not on its lifetime peak form but solely on its recent runs.
As a whole, we are all in danger of this with adamant assertions such as nobody will travel for business again, the office is dead, face-to-face meetings are dead, in store retail is dead, etc.
The converse ‘reversion to mean’ school of thought who think things will move back to a broad normal like before when restrictions lift were validated by the scenes in UK last week when restrictions allowing people meet outside were lifted (supposed to be in groups of 6) as proven by this footage from BBC.
We have no doubt there will be changes in behaviour in the short term post lifting restrictions and some of these may stick in the long term but we cannot have the theory that what has happened past 12 months can be representative of the next 12 years of consumer behaviour.
The year-on-year increase in the average NI house price for Q1 2021, with an average cost of home at £154,012, according to Nationwide Building Society. @BelTel
The COVID-adjusted unemployment rate in Ireland for March 2021, according to @CSOIreland
The AIB Ireland Manufacturing PMI for March 2021, a 5.1 point increase month-on-month. A figure above 50.0 indicates overall improvement in the sector.
The year-on-year increase in the listed house prices nationwide for Q1 with the average asking price now at €276,000, while the number of homes available to buy are down 34%, according to latest report by daft.ie @RTEbusiness
95.5% & 95.6%
The year-on-year decrease in the overseas arrivals and departures, respectively, for February 2021 amounting to 54,800 arrivals and 53,200 departures, according to @CSOIreland
The year-on-year decrease in the Irish retail sales volumes for February 2021, with the most notable changes in Bars (-91.3%) and in Electrical Goods (+33.5%), according to @CSOIreland
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