Please find below this week’s newsletter covering the latest M&A, company performance, fundraisings and executive moves.
We in Renatus are lucky to cover most parts of the island of Ireland on our travels. There is a stealth tax on this travel that is not well documented by economists. It’s called the PAT tax.
We started last Monday getting the train to Cork and got a light breakfast in Heuston station Supermacs.
We stayed that night at the Charleville Park Hotel, a Pat McDonagh-owned hotel.
We were fortunate to make our way to Adare for the golf and got lunchtime sustenance from a Papa John’s pizza truck.
We got a lift home from Adare and stopped for dinner in the Portlaoise plaza, one of the nine Pat McDonagh-owned service stations/plazas.
It just seems if you are on the road in Ireland doing business you cannot avoid the PAT tax.
In fairness to McDonagh and his teams, they provide exceptional service at reasonable prices and the PAT tax is one we don’t mind paying.
Deal Details: Quentic has been acquired by AMCS. Deal details have not been disclosed.
AMCS is a digital platform for waste, recycling and complex logistics solutions. The company was founded in 2003 by CEO, Jimmy Martin, and is headquartered in Limerick with over 1000 employees across Europe, the USA, and Australia. Backers include the Ireland Strategic Investment Fund (ISIF), Insight Ventures and Enterprise Ireland.
Quentic is a software firm that provides a web-based information system for occupational safety, environmental protection, and sustainability management. The company was founded in 2007 by Markus Becker, Sebastian Mönnich, and Hardy Menzel and is headquartered in Berlin, Germany. In FY20, the company reported a revenue of c. €17m.
Legal: Maples led by Conor Cawley, Colm Rafferty and Laura O’Connor.
Renatus Comment: Acquisitions have played a huge role in accelerating AMCS’ growth in recent years and the business is reportedly currently on a trajectory to achieve run-rate revenues of over €180m by the end of the year.
In recent months, AMCS has also acquired Utilibill (utility billing software), and Dossier Systems (fleet maintenance and management software solutions).
AMCS do not come up on the anecdotal list of Irish unicorns which speaks more to their humility than their lack of belonging in that group. It is a great story of how the founder can still be leading after various rounds of fundraisings. There is a lot to be learned from Jimmy, if you have not listened to our podcast with him yet, you can click here.
Source: Irish Examiner
Deal Details: Viatel has acquired Dublin-based SupportIT. The deal consideration was not disclosed. This deal follows Viatel’s acquisition of ActionPoint in January with ActionPoint to partner closely with SupportIT.
Viatel is a leading independent, Irish-owned provider of connectivity, cloud, and security solutions. Specifically, Viatel has deep strengths in servicing the healthcare, financial services, and education sectors. The group employs over 265 people across Ireland with locations in Dublin, Dundalk, Cork, and Limerick. Viatel is 100% owned by Digiweb, which is ultimately owned by Colm Piercy of Chirisa Investments alongside Quay Ventures. Post-acquisition, Viatel’s revenues are expected to exceed €65m in 2022. The business is led by group CEO Paul Rellis.
Founded in 2004, SupportIT provides IT services to over 200 companies and 3000 users throughout Ireland. With locations in Dublin and Sligo, the business employed c. 14 staff in FY19 and was owned by Joseph and Tara McGivern.
Legal: Venture Legal Services.
Renatus Comment: Viatel has now completed its seventh acquisition in the last two years, including ActionPoint, Ripplecom, Irish Telecom, Nova Telecom, and Skytel Networks. This acquisition will likely sit under ActionPoint with the Viatel group seeking to establish scale and market position through targeted M&A.
Source: Viatel Press Release
Deal Details: Inflexion has announced the acquisition of SteriPack Group Limited. The deal consideration was not disclosed.
SteriPack provides outsourced design, development, manufacturing, assembly, packaging, sterilization, and supply chain services supplying the medical device, diagnostic and pharmaceutical markets. The company employs over 650 people in Ireland, Poland, Malaysia, and the US. It serves more than 100 international clients. It was founded in 1994 by Garry Moore and is headquartered in Westmeath, Ireland. The company reportedly had a turnover of c. €48.7m in 2020. Mr. Moore sold a significant stake in the business to Bemis in 2016.
Inflexion is a private equity company headquartered in London.
Legal: Maples advised Steripack Group with the team led by Morgan Pierse, Colm Rafferty, Lianne Canty.
Financial: Conor Barry and Colin Brown of CMD Global Partners.
Legal: Ronan Lyons of A&L Goodbody.
Deal advisory: Houlihan Lokey.
Renatus Comment: SteriPack is another great example of how institutional capital can have a very meaningful impact on the growth trajectory of Irish businesses. Great Point Partners invested into SteriPack in 2019, hired long term healthcare packaging executive David Lennon as Chairman, completed two very targeted acquisitions and completed a very successful exit to Inflexion who will now look to use it as a platform for further consolidation in the industry. In a positive sign of continuity David Lennon will remain as Chairman under Inflexion’s ownership.
Source: Steripack Press Release
Deal Details: Lockton Ireland has acquired Dublin-based Burke Pension & Financial Services (BPFS). The deal consideration was not disclosed.
Founded by Dermot Burke in 2002, BPFS is a consulting practice focused on pensions, mortgages, and other financial services. The business is owned by William and Clare Burke and reported an FY21 turnover of c. €500k.
Headquartered in the USA, Lockton is the world’s largest privately-held insurance brokerage firm. The Group’s Irish subsidiary, Lockton Ireland has been operational since 1982 and is led by CEO Gary Ennis. The Irish entity reported FY21 turnover of c. €2.3m and employed over 30 staff.
Deal advisory: Jim Mulqueen of Montanum Advisory.
Financial Due Diligence: Stuart Fitzgerald and Johnny O’Sullivan of Fitzgerald Power.
Tax: Emer Joyce of Laura Lynch & Co.
Legal: Ken Casey and Paddy Scott of Hayes Solicitors.
Deal Advisory: Dave Kealy of Grant Thornton.
Legal: Feilim O’Caoimh and Conor Folan of Field Fisher.
Renatus Comment: Just 5 months ago with the acquisition of Dublin-based Independent Financial Advisory Trust (IFAT), Lockton Ireland entered the Irish pensions space. This acquisition is testament to Lockton’s ambitions to further grow in this space with this deal likely to make Lockton the fifth-largest corporate pension broker in the Irish market behind Mercer, Willis Towers Watson, AON, and Irish Life owned Invesco.
Source: Irish Times
Deal Details: PicWic Toys has been acquired by Smyths Toys. Deal consideration has not been disclosed.
Smyths Toys Superstores are a leading provider of children’s entertainment products. The company was founded in 1986 by Padraig Smyth, Liam Smyth, Thomas Smyth, and Tony Smyth and is headquartered in Galway. Smyths Toys successfully operates 138 stores in the UK & Ireland, together with 93 stores in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. In FY20 the company reported a turnover of c. €475m and an EBITDA of c. €22m.
PicWic Toys is an operator of toy stores, offering games and nursery products as well as organising creative activities, birthdays, and workshops in its stores. The company was founded in 1977 by Stéphane Mulliez and is headquartered in Lomme, France. In FY20 the company reported a turnover of €237m.
Legal: Latham led by Alexandra Bigot and Thomas Doyen.
Financial: Pwc led by Olivar Marion.
Renatus Comment: The pandemic, e-commerce competition, supply challenges, and inadequate financing during a merger in 2019 caused adversity for PicWicToys. This acquisition will ensure economic suitability for the company and the takeover of 632 employees.
Smyths has fought off strong competition to take over PicWic Toys’ French operation, including Lidl and Foir’Fouille & Centrakor, producing the biggest toy retailer in Europe. PicWic Toys also took over the running of the French Toys R Us stores in 2019. With PicWikToys already operating the Toys R Us business in Germany and Austria, Smyths was a clear candidate to take over the PicWic Toys business. The Smyth family story is not well told due to their private nature but apart from Primark, it is hard to name another Irish international retail success story to match the Smyth’s family success.
Source: ToyWorld Magazine
Deal Details: M&G plc. has acquired a significant stake in Finance Ireland with The Ireland Strategic Investment Fund (ISIF) exiting its shareholding in the business. The existing shareholders Pimco have also increased its stake as part of the deal. Deal consideration has not been disclosed.
Finance Ireland is a privately owned financial-services group specialising in motor finance, asset finance and leasing, commercial mortgages, and agri finance. It was founded in 2002 by Billy Keane and is headquartered in Dublin. In FY20 it reported a turnover of c. €66.0m and employed c. 170 people.
M&G plc. is an international savings and investments business, investing in and managing a wide range of assets including equities, fixed income, and real estate for individual savers and institutional investors. The business is headquartered in London and was founded in 1931. It is currently led by CEO, John Foley. In FY21 it reported a turnover of c. £17.8bn.
Deal advisory: Goodbody led by Stephen Kane and Finbarr Griffin.
Vendor Due Diligence: Deloitte.
Renatus Comment: The announcement of the investment was received well by the markets with M&G plc’s share price increasing by c. 3.5% when the market opened on Thursday. Finance Ireland will likely have an important part to play in the Irish market after the exit of Ulster Bank and KBC and many customers looking for a new provider of mortgages and other forms of finance.
This deal comes 6 months after M&G exited from Dublin-based UDG Healthcare, selling its stake in the business to CD&R.
Deal Details: Melior Equity Partners has acquired Rose Confectionary. Deal consideration has not been disclosed.
Rose Confectionary is a manufacturer and distributor of mallow and wafer products. It produces products such as freeze pops, slush puppies, and the Sun Exotics savoury snack range in its manufacturing facility in Edenderry, Offaly. The business was founded in 1983 and was majority-owned by Richard Kennedy. It reported an FY20 turnover of c. €24m and an EBITDA of c. €1m.
Melior Equity Partners is a private equity firm headquartered in Dublin.
M&A: Pwc led by John Casey.
ESG: SustainabilityWorks led by Laura Heuston.
Legal: McCann Fitzgerald led by John Neeson.
Consulting: Food Strategy Associates led by Stuart Wilson.
Due Diligence: Howdens led by Jeananne Muir.
Corporate Finance: Grant Thornton led by Patrick Dillon.
Legal: Addelshaw Goddard Deborah Kelly.
Renatus Comment: This is a great result for Rose majority owners Richard Kennedy, Phelim Daly, and Steven Watt who will retain a stake in the business following this transaction. Rose has experienced steady year-on-year revenue growth since 2016 with sales growing from less than €15m in 2016 to over €24m in 2020.
Source: Melior Press Release
Deal Details: Louth-based Intact has acquired UK-based Blue Rock Systems. The deal consideration was not disclosed but it was reported to be in the millions of pounds.
Founded in 1992 by Paul Marry and Aidan Lawless, Intact provides business management and ERP software and services. The business reported FY20 turnover of c. €13.2m which converted to an EBITDA of over €1.5m. The business is majority-owned by Aidan Lawless and Paul Marry and employs c. 150 staff.
Based in Hampshire, Blue Rock Systems provides financial, logistic, warehouse, and ERP software. The business was founded in 2005 by Managing Director, George Troullis, Sales Director, Glen Jewell, and Lance Norton, the company’s Commercial Director. The business employed c. 60 staff and did not report turnover or EBITDA information.
Professional services: Grant Thornton.
Legal: Flint Bishop.
Renatus Comment: Intact’s growth to date has been outstanding with revenues more than doubling from c. €6m in 2016 to well over €13m in 2020. This growth was mostly organic with Intact completing one acquisition in 2016 of Ramtac, a value-added reseller. To continue growing at this rate, which CEO Justin Lawless has claimed is the plan for the coming years, Intact may again acquire complementary businesses.
Source: Intact Press Release
Deal Details: CWSI has acquired mobco. Deal details have not been disclosed.
CWSI is an IT security provider for the modern workplace. It focuses on mobile and cloud security, providing consulting, professional services and managed services to organisations in Ireland, the UK and Europe across a wide range of sectors. It was founded in 2010 by Conor Headon, Philip Harrison and Ronan Murphy and is headquartered in Dublin. It does not report turnover or EBITDA. Castlegate recently acquired a stake in CWSI.
Mobco is a specialised IT integrator providing hardware, software and services for the modern workplace. It was founded in 2010 by Ulrik Van Schapdael and is headquartered in Belgium. It does not report turnover or EBITDA information.
Corporate Finance: KPMG led by Niall Flood and David Healy.
Renatus Comment: The deal is CWSI’s third acquisition in recent months, following the acquisition of Netherlands-based, Blaud for an undisclosed sum and UK-based cyber and cloud security solutions provider, AVR International, for a reported €5.2m.
Cloud services is another sector that has been extremely active. Notable acquisitive players in the space include Viatel, Ekco, Welltel, and Nostra, among others.
CWSI’s niche in this sector is its focus on enterprise mobile solutions which have become an increasing part of many business’ activities since the onset of Covid and remote working.
Source: Irish Examiner
Deal Details: Mitsubishi has acquired a further 35.8 percent stake in ElectroRoute making Mitsubishi the entire owner. Deal consideration has not been disclosed.
ElectroRoute is an Irish energy business founded in Donegal in 2011. It is an international, renewables-focused, energy trading and services company. founders include Alan Mullane, Ronan Doherty, Eamonn O’Donoghue, Alex Bryson, and Bernie Fitzpatrick. In FY21 it reported a turnover of c. €46.2m, which converted to an EBITDA of c. €8.1m.
Mitsubishi Corporation is a Japanese general trading company with over five hundred group companies. It is a global integrated business enterprise that develops and operates businesses in almost every industry. The business was founded in 1954. In FY22 the company had a turnover of c. €104.2bn, which converted to an EBITDA of c.€4bn.
Advisers: None mentioned.
Renatus Comment: Mitsubishi Corporation first invested in ElectroRoute in 2016 when they bought a controlling stake of 64.2 percent. This has helped ElectroRoute to rapidly expand to currently employing c. 90 people globally.
Interestingly this is the second deal in two weeks where a Japanese firm is acquiring an Irish business with Aspire being acquired by NEC on July 1st. Japan has been more acquisitive internationally in recent years with foreign M&A driving Japanese business growth pre-pandemic. It will be interesting to see if this strategy continues.
Source: The Irish Times
Deal Details: Trust services business, Pearse Trust has been acquired by UK-based Hawksford. Deal details have not been disclosed.
Pearse Trust is an independent adviser on corporate and trust structures offering services such as incorporation and administration of companies and trusts. It was established in 1984 by Joseph Hickey in Dublin and now has offices globally. The company does not report turnover or EBITDA information and is majority-owned by Joseph Hickey.
Hawksford is a financial services firm that provides corporate, trust, and fund administration services. It was founded in 1963 and is headquartered in Jersey, UK. The company is currently led by Michel van Leeuwen. The company does not publish its turnover or EBITDA.
Legal: Wallace led by Gar Smyth and Henry Bridges.
Corporate Finance: Nicholas O’Gorman of Anglesea Corporate Finance.
Legal: Walkers led by Partner Brendan O’Brien with assistance from Cal Kane (Corporate), Aisling Burke (Tax), Susan Battye and Jennifer Bassett (Employment) and Robert Upton (Real Estate).
Renatus Comment: Hawksford also recently acquired Griffon Solutions, a Mauritius-based financial services company. These acquisitions are the business’ first since the business received backing from STAR Capital, a London-based private equity company. Hawksford claims this is the beginning of a trail of further acquisitions to come in the coming years.
Source: Business Plus
Deal Details: Sync IT has announced a merger with Cusken Limited. Deal consideration has not been disclosed.
Sync IT offers managed IT and security services using cloud technology to small-to-medium sized companies. The company was founded by Joe Molloy and Allison Cooney in 2013 and is based in Dundalk. The company does not publish turnover or EBITDA information.
Cusken delivers retail office equipment to SMEs, corporates, education, and public sector including photocopiers, printers, audio-visual, retail equipment, and office furniture throughout Ireland. The company was established in 1987 by Paddy McCusker and John McKenna and is also based in Dundalk. The company did not report turnover or EBITDA.
Advisers: None mentioned.
Renatus Comment: The merger of the two companies supports 22 jobs throughout the North-East and is predicted to produce 4 new roles. Sync IT’s Allison Cooney has been appointed to Technical Account Director while Cusken’s Paddy McCusker will continue as Business Development Director across the two companies. Both businesses will remain operating in the market as seperate entities but are expected to derive significant syngergies.
Source: Sync IT Press Release
Deal Details: Vivalto Vie has acquired Grace Healthcare. The deal consideration was not disclosed.
Grace Healthcare is an Irish nursing home group with seven homes throughout the country. The business reported an FY20 turnover of over €16m which converted to an EBITDA of over €500k. The business was owned by various parties including Singapore-based PE, Emerge Capital, James Crampton, Joe O’Donovan, and Rioghnach Murphy.
Vivalto Vie is a French-based nursing home operator with a presence in Belgium, France, and Spain as well as Ireland. The underlying assets in this deal are owned by Euryale, a French real estate investor.
Legal: Simmons & Simmons Dublin and Singapore led by David Brangam, Andrew Fullen, Rachel Stanton, Patricia MCarvill, and Peter McKeever.
Renatus Comment: This deal represents a new player in the Irish nursing home consolidation play with Vivalto head of M&A, Guillaume Raoux, announcing plans to open a total of 15 nursing homes and is reportedly in talks with nursing homes in Cork and west Dublin. Aedifica is seemingly the most active player in this space currently.
Source: The Sunday Times
Fairhouse Supermarket Limited, trading as McCarthy’s Eurospar Kilkenny, is a family-run supermarket. It is owned and run by the McCarthy family.
During FY21, McCarthy’s Eurospar reported turnover of c. €12.5m, an increase of 6.8% year-on-year. This converted to an EBITDA of c. €0.8m, a decrease of 9.1% year-on-year. This is attributable partly to a decrease in gross margin and an increase in administrative expenses.
At year-end September 2021, the business had a cash balance of €0.6m, an increase of €103k over the year. The business employed an average of 75 people costing c. €1.6m annually.
Tiernaneill Mushrooms Limited (T/A Goldcircle Mushrooms) is a family-owned mushroom farm based in Monaghan. The business was established in 1999 by Kieran Walsh and has since expanded to produce 8,000 tons of fresh mushrooms per year.
In FY21, Gold Circle reported a turnover of €29.4m, a 41.2% increase year-on-year. This converted to an EBITDA of €1.2m. EBITDA decreased year-on-year due to gross margins decreasing from c. 44.8% to 33.9% and an increase in administrative expenses. The business finished the year with a cash balance of c. €210k.
Gold Circle Mushrooms employed an average of 249 people at an annual cost of c. €7.0m. The business is owned by Kieran J. Walsh, Pauline Walsh, Desmond Mcguigan, and Denise Stock.
Who: Micron Agritech, a company that develops rapid testing kits for farmers and vets that can be used on-site to test cattle, sheep, and horses for parasites. Results are recieved via an app within 30 minutes of testing.
What: The company has raised c. €1.5 million from investors. The investment was led by Yield Lab Europe and also included investment from Investbridge Capital, Centenary Thurles, and Enterprise Ireland.
Why: The funding will be used to expand its product range to offer a complete suite of testing solutions.
Source: Business Post
Who: Future Mobility Campus Ireland (FMCI), a non-profit organisation that was established to develop and deliver future mobility tested facilities to encourage research, growth, and innovation in the Autonomous Connected Shared Vehicles space in Ireland.
What: The consortium involving partners such as Shannon Group, Irish Aviation Authority, Collins Aerospace, Avtrain, and Deepblue in Italy has raised €3.4m in EU funding.
Why: The funding will be used to expand uncrewed aviation business opportunities in Ireland with the aim to modernise air traffic management in Europe.
Source: The Irish Examiner
Who: HoloToyz, a Meath-based Irish toy company which makes interactive toys for children in the three to ten age group. The business is owned by Paul Cosgrave, Declan Fahy and Kate Scott.
What: HoloToyz has raised c. £1 million in funding led by Irish tech veteran John Herlihy and Molten Ventures’ Brian Caulfield.
Why: The funding will be used to expand its team to boost its international business.
Source: The Irish Times
We in Renatus believe that more important than the deals are the people and we are pleased to provide you with details of key recent executive and board-level appointments.
The increase in liquidations of SME businesses in the last three months compared to Q1 of this year. This increase is from a historically low base with 4.2 out of 10,000 businesses being liquidated in Q2 compared to a 17-year average of 39 out of 10,000. @PwCIreland
The AIB S&P Global Manufacturing Purchasing Mangers’ Index (PMI) in June of this year. This figure is a 16-month low after falling from 56.4 in May and is down from an all-time high of 64.1 in May of last year. According to @AIBIreland
The value of Irish drinks exported to the US in 2021 with the US being Ireland’s largest export partner for spirits. This figure is up c. 10% from 2020. According to @DrinksIreland
The increase of foreign direct investments between January and June this year in comparison to last year. There was an additional 155 FDI investments with an associated employment potential of over 18,000 jobs. According to @RTEbusiness
The Irish unemployment rate as of June 2022. This is up slightly from 4.7% in May 2022 but down significantly from a high of 31.5% in April 2020 and remains at a pre-COVID level. According to @CSOIreland
The current euro to the dollar exchange rate. The euro is at its lowest level against the dollar since 2002. According to @RTEbusiness
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