InsightsNewsletterRenatus’ Weekly M&A Newsletter – 10/09/2023

Renatus’ Weekly M&A Newsletter – 10/09/2023

Renatus Weekly M&A & Company Performance Private Equity Newsletter 10/09/2023

Dear Reader,

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

Thought for the Week

In March 2022, the government approved a historic auto-enrolment pension scheme designed to encourage workers to save for their retirement. 750,000 workers between the ages of 23 and 60 will be enrolled in this scheme. The initial cost to the employer will be 1.5% of the qualifying employee salary with the qualifying salary capped at €80k. This is to rise to 6% over a 10-year period. Over time this will likely be a 6-figure cost to many of Ireland’s SMEs.

The experience across the water is that the vast majority stay receiving the employer contribution when auto-enrolled, driving up overall enrolment rates, with UK enrolment rates in the private sector more than doubling, from 42% to 86% between 2012 and 2022.

There are several concerns around the scheme with the Small Firms Association citing that many of its members will find it challenging to meet their obligations. This caused employer groups such as IBEC to campaign for the delay of the introduction for two years after the legislation was passed. Following these delays, the latest update is for the scheme to be rolled out in September 2024. As we approach the end of the year and budgets have to be set for FY24, CFOs around the country are wondering if it will be delayed yet again.

Renatus’ full blog post on the topic can be read here.

M&A Activity

Dole Plc acquires Vernon Catering

DOLE

Deal Details: Dole Plc has acquired Vernon Catering. Deal consideration was not disclosed.

Dole Plc is a global leader in fresh fruit and vegetable produce. The business was formed in 2021 through the merger of Dole Foods and Total Produce. The business is guiding an EBITDA for 2023 of c. $350m.

Based in Dublin, Vernon Catering is a 100% family owned business that has been supplying fresh fruit and vegetables since 1958. The company is led by Managing Director Ronan O’Sullivan who is assuming the new position of Commercial Director in Dole Foodservice under the terms of the deal. The business does not report revenue or EBITDA information.

Advisers: None mentioned.

Renatus Comment: Following the merger of Dole Foods and Total Produce, Dole Plc became the world’s largest producer of fruit and vegetables, operating with 38,500 full-time and seasonal employees who supply some 300 products in 75 countries. The case of Total Produce is the perfect example of an extraordinary Irish business success story. Evolving from a family-owned business to a global leader in fresh food produce, Carl McCann chairs the company that started out as “Charles McCann’s Fruit & Vegetable Market” in the North East in the 1850s. Over generations, the business consolidated the Irish industry with the company going public as Fruit Importers of Ireland in 1981. The company has since expanded across Europe, North America and South America with shrewd acquisitions a key feature of its international growth.

Source: RTE

DCC announces 4 acquisitions

Deal Details: DCC has spent a total of €187 million on the acquisitions of Centreco, Isolatiespecialist, Solcellekraft and San Isabel Services Propane, along with SLER40 in May. The value of each individual acquisition has not been disclosed.

DCC plc is an international sales, marketing, and support services group, based in Dublin. It operates through three divisions: Energy, Healthcare and Technology. DCC was founded by Jim Flavin in 1976 and was listed on the Dublin and London stock exchange in 1994. The group is led by CEO Donal Murphy. DCC operates in 22 countries and employs over 16,000 people. In FY Mar 23 the business reported turnover of c. £22.2bn, which converted to EBITDA of c. £800m.

Centreco is a UK-based solar and energy consultancy business. The business does not report revenue or EBITDA information.

Isolatiespecialist is a company that provides customers in the Netherlands with energy efficiency and insulation services. The business does not report revenue or EBITDA information.

Solcellekraft is a Norwegian solar PV company. In FY Dec 22, the business reported turnover of c. €21.5m which converted to an EBITDA of c. €5.2m.

San Isabel Services Propane is a US-based propane distributor. The business does not report revenue or EBITDA information.

Advisers: None mentioned.

Renatus Comment: In May, DCC confirmed that it had spent a total of €1.4bn on acquisitions over the past three years. The majority of these acquisitions are linked to the company’s clean energy acquisition play as it aims for a net-zero carbon future and reduced dependence on its LPG, retail, and oil divisions. The most recent acquisitions have specifically targeted the fast-growing solar industry, with governments globally offering grants and initiatives to promote the transition to renewable energy sources. For example in May, the Irish government announced that it is set to approve grants worth up to €162,500 for businesses seeking to install solar PV panels.

DCC’s share price rose c. 2% on the announcement of the acquisitions, with the Group now trading at an EV/ EBITDA multiple of c. 7.0x.

Source: Capital IQ

Mail Metrics acquires Dafi

mailmetrics

Deal Details: Mail Metrics acquires Dafil. Financial terms of the acquisition have not been disclosed.

Mail Metrics is a Down-based company that was incorporated in 2001. The company provides a solution around Customer Communication Management, maximising the “potential to automate and digitise business processes”. It handles millions of communications annually such as renewal notices, claims correspondence and billing information. Mail Metrics is projecting €40m in revenue by the end of 2023.

Dafil was incorporated as a subsidiary of I.D.F.A. in 1982 to provide Security Printing. The business does not report turnover or EBITDA information.

Advisers:
Mail Metrics:
M&A: Deloitte led by James Toomey, Philippa Reynolds and Ross O’Riordan.
Debt & Capital Advisory: Deloitte led by Brian Fennelly, Rebecca Robinson and Liam Farrelly.
Transaction Services: Deloitte led by Conor Cullen, Kuvani Naidoo & Chris Cummins.
Tax: Deloitte led by David Shanahan, Karen Clarke, Alan Sheehan and Cormac Doyle.
Legal: A Taylor Wessing team of Paddy Quinlan, Ameer Gazder, Libby Garvey, Laura Brohan, Orlaith Molloy and Sarah Kelly.

Dafil: 
Corporate Finance: UHY FDW led by Derek Dervan, Alan Farrelly and Niall Donnelly.
Financial: Roberts Nathan led by Brendan Kean and Brendan Murphy.
Legal: ByrneWallace led by Ross Little, supported by Ana Soptica, Bryan O’Gorman, Aoife Coughlan, Colin Bolger, Ciara Ruane and Liam Connellan.

Renatus Comment: Mail Metrics has seen remarkable growth in recent years, ranking second in last year’s Deloitte Fast 50. The business is positioning itself as a critical solution for its customers handling high volumes of communications, with acquisitions allowing it to both broaden its offering and acquire similar customer bases. Acquisitions aside, Nick Keegan, its CEO, has highlighted that the business has seen 40% year-on-year organic growth.

Last week we referenced a McKinsey article which emphasised that serial acquirers tend to see the most success from M&A strategies, particularly more software-focused companies. Mail Metrics is undoubtedly evidence of this, with this acquisition marking its third following the acquisitions of Persona and Forth Communications in 2021.

Source: Mail Metrics Press Release

Stryve acquires Futuralis

Stryve

Deal Details: Stryve has acquired Futuralis. Deal consideration was not disclosed.

Stryve is a Carlow-based company offering multi-cloud solutions, disaster recovery, backup, and cyber security to its clients to ensure their data is protected. Stryve’s existing group companies include Stratticus, SureDatum and MikroCloud. The company’s organic growth and acquisitions have resulted in Stryve becoming a team of over 100 employees. The business does not report revenue or EBITDA information.

The Washington DC-based firm Futuralis was established in 2011 by Aravind Pamula. Futuralis is an AWS (Amazon Web Services) advanced tier partner. The business does not report revenue or EBITDA information.

Advisers: None mentioned.

Renatus Comment: The acquisition of Futuralis will allow Stryve to both increase its presence in the US market and enhance its service offering. Futuralis is an AWS advanced tier partner, strengthening Stryve’s public cloud offering, with Futuralis clients including Amazon.com, Equifax, Zillow and the University of South Carolina. Stryve has completed multiple acquisitions to date having established itself as a multi-cloud solutions provider. To date, Stryve has acquired Stratticus, a design and marketing agency, SureDatum an Irish FinTech automation provider and Mikrocloud in South Africa. CEO Andrew Tobin has highlighted that Stryve is planning to further its acquisition strategy over the course of the year as it seeks to both expand geographically and enhance the already broadened offering of its cloud services.

Source: Business Plus

BGF takes minority stake in Ocean Crest Marine

ocm

Deal Details: BGF has taken a minority stake in Ocean Crest Marine. Deal consideration was not disclosed.

Ocean Crest Marine was founded by CEO and majority shareholder Marcus Lally in 2013 and provides specialist equipment to the marine sector. The business is based in the Port of Galway with additional locations situated throughout the UK and Ireland. The business does not report turnover or EBITDA information.

BGF is a private equity investor with operations in the UK and Ireland.

Advisers:
Ocean Crest Marine:
Corporate Finance: An IBI Corporate Finance of David Lyons, Jordan O’Connor and Rory Morrin.
Legal: Flynn O’Driscoll team of David Ryan, Cian Mannion and Amanda O’Connell.
Tax: Mazars led by Paul Mee and Claire Gibbons.

BGF:
Legal: ReganWall, led by Kieran Regan, Sarah Connolly and Neil Nolan.
Tax: Gara Ryan Tax and Business Consultants
FDD: Navigo Consulting

Renatus Comment: Ocean Crest Marine is well-positioned to benefit from the growth of Ireland’s offshore wind sector. Tailwinds in the sector will be driven by the recently completed ORESS 1 auction, which saw four long-term contracts awarded to supply offshore wind energy to Ireland which are expected to deliver 3.1GW in renewable electricity, a significant step towards the Irish government’s goal of 5GW of offshore wind on the grid by 2030. Ocean Crest Marine’s jack-up barges can be elevated above waves, tides and currents to provide a stable platform for marine construction projects, with the solution already in operation on barges in Dublin Port, Arklow, Dingle, Liverpool and Scotland.

Source: Business Plus

Atlantic Therapeutics acquired by Caldera Medical

Atlantic-Therapeutics

Deal Details: Caldera Medical has acquired Atlantic Therapeutics. Deal consideration was not disclosed.

Atlantic Therapeutics is a Galway-based developer of professional and consumer medical devices, related software, and connected health technologies. The company was founded in 2015 when it spun out of Bio-Medical Research, the company behind Slendertone, and has raised almost €100m in funding to date. The business’ investors include LSP, Andera Partners, Atlantic Bridge Ventures, Earlybird, and Seroba Life Sciences. The company does not report revenue or EBITDA information.

Caldera Medical is a women’s health medical device company based in California. Caldera Medical has the largest humanitarian program of any women’s health company and is committed to treating one million women in underserved populations around the world by the year 2025. The business does not report revenue or EBITDA information.

Advisers: None mentioned.

Renatus Comment: Atlantic Therapeutics’ development of its specialised electrical solution aimed at treating urinary incontinence has seen the business raise considerable venture capital funding in recent years. As of 2021 the business had raised €40m from investors, with this figure rising to approximately €100m as of October 2022. Its solution is aimed at targeting a market worth c. $13bn globally, with an estimated 400 million people encountering urinary incontinence problems globally. This acquisition by Caldera will give Atlantic Therapeutics an even greater chance of maximising the effectiveness of its product, with Caldera having existing expertise and experience in the space, allowing the business to accelerate the launch of its Innovu product worldwide.

Source: Silicon Republic

Jennings O’Donovan acquired by RSK Group

Jennings-ODonovan

Deal Details: RSK Group has acquired Irish consulting engineering firm Jennings O’Donovan. Deal consideration was not disclosed.

Headquartered in the UK, RSK Group is an engineering and environmental consultancy comprising over 200 firms and is owned by its employees. This marks RSK’s 14th acquisition in 2023 alone. In FY Mar 22, the group reported turnover of c. £796m which converted to an EBITDA of c. £52m.

Jennings O’Donovan is an Irish-owned company, founded in 1950 and headquartered in Sligo. The firm specialises in renewable energy, water supply and wastewater treatment consulting, along with the provision of planning and environmental services. The business operates in Ireland, the UK and Eastern Europe. It is owned by David Kiely and Conor McCarthy. It does not report revenue or EBITDA information.

Advisers: None mentioned.

Renatus Comment: This acquisition is not the first in the energy consulting space in Ireland this year, with US multinational, UIG, having acquired Dublin-based energy consultancy, Enicity, in July. RSK has been a serial acquirer in recent months, completing 14 acquisitions this year. Jennings O’Donovan’s expertise in the regulatory and planning space in Ireland will prove particularly beneficial to RSK and mirrors one of the advantages highlighted by UIG in its acquisition of Enicity.

Source: Business Plus

Writech completes three acquisitions

Deal Details: Writech has announced the acquisitions of Ideal Fire, Wilec Fire & Security and Jem Pumps.

Writech, based in Westmeath, was founded in 1981 by Mary and Thomas Wright before sons Ted and Alan took over in 2008. Ted Wright currently leads the business as CEO. The business designs, manufactures, installs, and services fire systems across a range of sectors including data centres, life sciences, logistics, retail, office and food, and beverage. In its financial year to June 2022, the business had turnover of €42.2m, converting to an EBITDA of €9.1m.

Ideal Fire is a fire alarm service and maintenance business based in Dublin. The business is owned by Ray Dooley and does not provide turnover or EBITDA information.

Wilec Fire & Security is a Wicklow-based provider of life safety and security systems. It is owned by William and Jane O’Connell and does not provide turnover or EBITDA information.

Jem Pumps is a UK-based specialist in fire, industrial, and electric pumps. It does not report turnover or EBITDA information.

Advisers: None mentioned.

Renatus Comment: Having received investment from Waterland Private Equity in 2021, Writech has followed an acquisition-led growth strategy, completing five acquisitions over the period. Its previous acquisitions were that of Ce Sprinkler in Sweden and Compco Fire Systems in the UK. The fire safety space lends itself to a consolidation play, with Writech CEO, Ted Wright, highlighting that more bolt-on opportunities exist for the business in Ireland and the UK in particular, given the level of fragmentation and founder-led operations in both countries. These acquisitions have put Writech on an impressive growth trajectory, with the business forecasting group revenues in excess of €124m this year, with Ted Wright also a finalist in this year’s EY Entrepreneur of the Year.

Source: RTE

Deal Updates & Other News

Tribe Technology lists on the London AIM

Deal Details: The Northern Ireland-based manufacturer of autonomous mining equipment has listed on the AIM sub-market with a market capitalisation of c. £22m. The company issued shares valued at 10c each, successfully raising £4.6m from the listing. These funds will be used to fulfil the existing order book, increase the group’s level of inventory and ‘pursue the group’s product and technology road map, and expand engineering, sales, and support staff.’ The business’ existing investors include Invest Northern Ireland and a number of private individuals.

Source: Belfast Telegraph

FuturEnergy Ireland forms long-term Strategic Framework Agreement with Greencoat Renewables PLC

Deal Details: This deal will give Greencoat access to future onshore wind projects in Ireland. FuturEnergy which is co-owned by ESB and Coillte said it expects to sell more than 500MW of its 1GW pipeline to Greencoat by 2030 through the framework.

Advisors:
FuturEnergy Ireland:
Legal: Eversheds Sutherland led by Peter O’Neill.

Source: FuturEnergy Ireland Presss Release

Smurfit Kappa in merger talks with WestRock

Deal Details: Smurfit Kappa has announced that it is in discussions to merge with US rival WestRock. This deal would potentially combine two of the world’s largest paper and packaging producers. The deal would see Smurfit Kappa delist from Euronext Dublin with the merged entity aiming to list on the New York Stock Exchange. In FY Dec 22, Smurfit Kappa reported revenue of c €12.8bn which converted to an EBITDA of c. €2.2bn. In FY Sep 22, WestRock reported revenue of c. $21.3bn which converted to an EBITDA of c. $3.3bn.

Source: RTE News

Company Performance

Daniel-Whelan-Engineering-Works-Limited

Daniel Whelan Engineering Works Limited is an engineering and light manufacturing business based in Borris Co. Carlow. It is owned by Brigid, Daniel,  Daniel  Jnr., Agnes,  John and Kate Whelan.

In its financial year to September 2022 the business generated a turnover of c. €13.0m, an increase of 65.2% year-on-year. This converted to c. €1.9m EBITDA, an increase of 35.4% year-on-year. The increase in EBITDA was primarily driven by top-line growth.

The business finished the year with a cash balance of c. €0.4m, a c. €4.4m decrease on FY21. This was a result of movement in intercompany loans, which was the most significant post-EBITDA cash movement.

The business employed an average of 90 people during the period at a total cost of c. €3.5m.

Daniel-Whelan-Engineering-Works-Limited-figs

Fundraisings

Who: Gigable, a Dublin-based software platform that connects local freelance workers with local businesses.

What: The business has received an undisclosed investment quantum from Quintas Capital Management.

Why: The company is planning to use the funding to support its planned growth overseas. Specifically, the company is looking to further expand its UK presence and begin operations in the US.

Advisors:
Quintas:
Legal: An LK Shields team of Emmet Scully, Kris O’Shea and Jonathan Braden.

Source: LK Shields Press Release

Who: Wavey Ice, a Co. Down based ready-to-drink cocktail brand.

What: The business has raised over £600,000 via 147 crowdfunding investors.

Why: The company intends to use this capital to develop new products in hope of taking advantage of new interest in the sector.

Source: Irish News

Who: Enzai, A Belfast-based AI governance platform.

What: The business has raised €3.73m in a seed funding round.

Why: Funds will be used to further develop its artificial intelligence governance platform

Source: Irish Times

Who: Wayflyer, the Dublin-based fintech platform providing loans to e-commerce companies.

What: The company has agreed a €930m financing deal with US-based investment firm Neuberger Berman.

Why: This capital injection will enable the business to pay down some of its current debt and use it for new financings.

Source: Business Post

Who: Innov8 Creative Academy, a children’s products firm.

What: The business has raised €400,000 from Enterprise Ireland and a crowdfunding campaign.

Why: The raise will allow the company to develop more products to bring to market.

Source: Irish Independent

Executive and Board Appointments

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.

Sinead Brennan

Source:
(Google Images & LinkedIn)

Darian Rogerson

Darian-Rogerson

Source:
(Google Images & LinkedIn)

Darian-Rogerson-bio

David Crimmins

Source:
(Google Images & LinkedIn)

John-Feeney-bio-1

Brian Farrell

Brian-Farrell

Source:
(Google Images & LinkedIn)

Brendan O’Brien

Brendan-OBrien

Source:
(Google Images & LinkedIn)

bird & bird
Brendan-OBrien-bio

Orla Corr

Orla-Corr

Source:
(Google Images & LinkedIn)

qub

Adrian Doran

Adrian-Doran

Source:
(Google Images & LinkedIn)

qub
Adrian-Doran-bio

John Feeney

John-Feeney

Source:
(Google Images & LinkedIn)

@RenatusCapital Tweets

€1bn

The drop in corporation tax receipts in August, according to @IRLDeptFinance.

6.3%

The annual inflation rate in August according to @CSOIreland.

50,000

The number of homes, farms and businesses now connected under the National Broadband Plan according to @NatBroadbandIrl.

5%

The increase in Ireland’s total energy demand last year according to @SEAI_ie.

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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