InsightsNewsletterRenatus’ Weekly M&A Newsletter – 14/02/2021

Renatus’ Weekly M&A Newsletter – 14/02/2021

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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

Zeus Packaging acquires Austrian-based business

Bus Unit Style Guides

Deal DetailsZeus Packaging, a leading independent packaging manufacturer and distributor, has acquired Austrian-based food packaging solutions business, Petruzalek, which was part of Sirap-Gema Group.

The acquisition, from Italian investment holding company, Italmobiliare, completes a three-year €40 million acquisition strategy for Irish-owned Zeus.

No financial consideration was disclosed however Petruzalek reportedly achieved revenues of c. €58 million, net assets of €16 million and EBITDA of €2.5 million in 2020.

Advisers: Assisting Zeus in the purchase of Petruzalek with funding, tax and legal advice, and financial due diligence were Ulster Bank, Eversheds Sutherland, bpv Hügel, McMahon O’Brien Tynan, Gattai, Minoli, Agostinelli & Partners, Milan, & EY, Vienna and Milan.

Corporate Finance Advisors included Seán O’Keeffe, the Deloitte team of Cork-based Partner Ronan Murray with Derek Murphy and Elaine Canty who provided Transaction Services (FDD)

Renatus Comment: This deal concludes the seventh business to be integrated into the Zeus business over the past 18 months. Established by Brian O’Sullivan in 1998, this acquisition brings the number employed by Zeus from 450 people across 14 countries to 670 people across 26 countries. O’Sullivan has maxed organic growth, extended market reach by acquisition and injected C-level management with the appointment of Keith Ockenden as CEO. This is a great Irish entrepreneurial case study.

The group’s turnover has grown substantially over the past three years, reaching €208m in 2020 and expected to reach €280m for 2021.

Source: Zeus Packaging

Atlantic Aviation Group acquires UK business


Deal Details: Shannon-based aerospace group Atlantic Aviation Group has acquired a former Flybe maintenance operation from UK administrators for an undisclosed sum.

AAG is one of Europe’s leading independent aviation organisations offering services in Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul, Aircraft Modifications, Continuous Airworthiness Management and Aviation Training.

The UK business employs 112 people and in 2014 secured a contract to provide maintenance, repair and overhaul services for the RAF’s fleet of Airbus A400M transport aircraft.

Advisers: James Duggan, Declan Cunningham, Claire McDermott and Daniela Martyna of Flynn O’Driscoll provided legal advice for Atlantic Aviation, with Mary McGinley in KPMG advising on tax.

EY represented the Administrator appointed to Flybe and they were advised on the legals by BCLP in London.

Renatus Comment: AAG has steadily grown in recent years. Acquired in April 2015 by Patrick Jordan, it employs 317 staff and 24 trainees at its Co Clare headquarters. Mr Jordan sold his scaffolding company firm Easy Access to Siteserv in 2006 for a reported €23m in cash and shares. He then bought Atlantic Aviation, formerly Transaero, out of examinership in 2015 for €1m and pledged €1.5m in working capital to the business. Along with his management team he has turned the business around.  The latest set of publicly available accounts for Atlantic Aviation show that it generated turnover of €33m in 2019 and a pre-tax profit of €2.7m.
Mr Jordan also owns 50% of Eirtrade Aviation, a Dublin-based firm whose activities include aircraft disassembly.

Source: AAG, Irish Independent

Moonpig goes public


Deal Details: Moonpig Group, an investment of U.K. and Ireland focussed private equity firm, Exponent has listed on the London Stock Exchange at a market capitalisation of £1.2bn (ticker: MOON).

Moonpig is the leading online and greetings cards platform in Europe. The company was founded by Dragon’s Den judge Nick Jenkins as a personalised greeting cards company and has transformed into a gifting platform, ranking as the number one Shopping App on the App Store in the U.K. this month. The business is led by former Rocket Internet executive Nickyl Raithatha and Chaired by Kate Swann, former CEO of WH Smith and SSP.

The Exponent team on this transaction included David McGovern who leads Exponent’s efforts in Ireland.

Advisers: Citi (Michael Lavelle and Paddy Evans), JP Morgan (Harry Hampson and Alex Watkins) led the IPO syndicate with Jefferies, Numis and HSBC as joint book runners.

Renatus Comment: Exponent is a European focused private equity firm with a rich Irish heritage. In 2012 Exponent acquired Fintrax (now Planet) from the Galway-based Barry family and followed up with investments in the Racing Post (led by Alan Byrne) and DCC Environmental (now Enva, led by Tom Walsh and Chaired by former Ardagh CEO Niall Wall). Exponent also has an interest in Laois Hire through its holding in HSS Hire. Moonpig is another successful Exponent investment in an e-commerce market leader following its exit of Trainline in 2015 to KKR (led by Dubliner and former eBay exec Clare Gilmartin). The firm is a consistent investor in consumer and growth-orientated businesses and has demonstrated a 10-year commitment to Ireland so far. Exponent is led by Richard Lenane who hails from Belfast and Renatus chairman, John Dwyer Chairs Exponent portfolio company the Racing Post.

Exponent invests in the consumer, media, financial services and business services sectors, within an enterprise value range of €150-450m.

Source: Exponent, Bloomberg

SportCaller acquired by US-based Bally’s


Deal Details: SportCaller has been acquired by gaming company Bally’s. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Dublin-based SportCaller is a leading B2B free-to-play (F2P) game provider for sports betting and media companies across North America, the UK, Europe, Asia, Australia, LATAM and Africa. SportCaller reported EBITDA of €2m for 2020, up from €1m in 2019 and €400k in 2018.

Bally’s Corporation is a U.S. provider of land-based gaming and interactive entertainment.

As a leading global F2P sports game provider, SportCaller complements Bally’s recent acquisitions. Further, SportCaller will allow Bally’s to use F2P games as an additional player engagement and retention tool in states that authorize sports betting.

With more than 100 games in over 20 languages, and over 30 sports across 37 countries, SportCaller’s platform is expected to considerably expand Bally’s strong geographic presence beyond national borders.

Advisers: Maples Group, led by Jordan O’Brien and assisted by Colm Rafferty served as legal advisor to SportCaller and its shareholders. Oakvale Capital served as financial advisor to SportCaller.

Deloitte Financial Advisory and Tax teams acted for Bally’s Corporation on this transaction. Jones Day served as legal advisor to Bally’s Corporation.

Renatus Comment: This is the third recent purchase by Bally’s which has a market cap of c. €1.5bn. In November it paid $125m for Bet. Works, an online sports betting platform. In May, it paid $90m for Monkey Knife Fight, a fantasy sports site.

This is a superb success overnight story after a near 15-year journey for founders 45 year-old Cillian Barry and 38 year-old Eugene Cosgrove. Fintan Farrell came on board with them at an early stage and helped with commercial deals. Other investors that came in at a later stage included members of the Power family of Paddy Power fame and Johnny Hartnett. The founders did everything right from the start with an excellent fantasy racing game but the market was only so big and moving into sports really kicked the business on but the real value creation is the emerging US gambling market. This is a  great case study for many entrepreneurs of sticking to the rules of delivering a great product/service and if you stick in long enough a macro move in the market can create real value.
Source: SportCaller

Supreme Screw Products acquired by Schivo


Deal Details: Schivo has acquired NYC-based Supreme Screw Products, Inc. (“SSP”) for an undisclosed sum.

Founded in 1963, SSP is a leading supplier of precision machining, laser processing, and assembly services for the medical device market.

Waterford-based Schivo is an OEM Contract Manufacturing partner with over 25 years’ experience in the manufacturing & development of complex components, sub-assemblies, & instruments for global leaders in the Life Sciences space.

Advisers: Schivo were advised by Jim Mulqueen and Fiona McGuire of Grant Thornton Corporate Finance, and on Financial Due Diligence by Dara Kelly.

Schivo’s lawyers were Eamonn Shannon and Ellen O’Connor of Shannon O’Connor

Renatus Comment: This acquisition will strengthen Schivo’s development and manufacturing footprint, enhance its technical capabilities, and deepen customer partnerships.

Source: PRNewswire

Rutland Partners invests in JSM group


Deal Details: UK-based JSM has received an undisclosed investment from Rutland Partners.

JSM is an infrastructure services provider to the UK’s critical digital communications and power sectors, with a strong presence in greater London and the south-east of England.

Rutland Partners is a UK-based private equity investor.

Advisers: Mazars, led by John Bowe acted for JSM Group. Philip Lee corporate partner Andrew Tzialli and Rachel McCausland also advised JSM on the investment.

DC Advisory and Taylor Westin acted for Rutland.

Source: Rutland Partners

Kentech to acquire Canada-based SNC-Lavalin’s oil and gas division


Deal Details: Irish-founded engineering company Kentech is set to acquire Canada-based SNC-Lavalin’s oil and gas division for an undisclosed sum.

SNC Lavalin’s oil and gas division is mainly made up of the former London-listed Kentz, founded through a management buyout of MF Kent in the late 1980s. The Canadian company acquired the business in 2014.

The acquisition will increase Kentech’s workforce to more than 10,000 from its current 3,500. The combined Kentech-SNC-Lavalin business will have a backlog of contracts valued at $1.1 billion (€820 million). Kentech’s deal will also reunite elements of what was MF Kent, the global engineering group once headquartered in Clonmel, Co Tipperary.

Advisers: None mentioned.

Renatus Comment: Kentech is focused on the oil and gas and energy businesses, working on power plants, offshore rigs and other such plants for its clients. Beyond its current international scope, the business intends to expand its presence globally following this deal, as it will add consultancy as a fourth strand to its business model. Its main Irish business, Dornan Engineering, was bought out by its management in 2010.

Source: Irish Times, SNC-Lavalin

EPS Group acquires Ferrier Pumps


Deal DetailsEPS Group has acquired Ferrier Pumps Ltd for an undisclosed sum.

EPS Group is a water, wastewater and pumping specialist and has its headquarters in Mallow, Co. Cork. EPS Group has five main business areas of: Design, Build and Construction Services; Off-Site/DfMA Manufacturing & Assembly; Outsourced Asset Management & Operations; Service and Repair of Assets and Equipment; and Technical Product Sales and Distribution, mean that it is an end-to-end service provider in the global water sector.

Ferrier Pumps Ltd is a multi-faceted engineering company with 40 years of experience and operations across Scotland and Northern England. The business was established by Brian Ferrier in 1981 and now employs 47 people between offices and workshops in Edinburgh, Glasgow and Aberdeen.

Advisers: None mentioned

Renatus Comment: This is further expansion into Scotland for EPS Group which has set up UK offices in Alton, Hampshire; Thetford, Norfolk and Lichfield, Staffordshire in recent years. In its financial year to March 2020, EPS Group reported revenue of €105.8m and EBITDA of €6.2m.

Meanwhile Ferrier Pumps Ltd reported revenue of €10.6m and EBITDA of €256k.

Source: EPS Group

Danu Partners acquires Legal Seafood

dan partners

Deal Details: Investment vehicle Danu Partners which is backed by Irish investors has acquired Boston-based seafood chain Legal Seafood.

Danu Partners is backed by Setanta Sports founders Leonard Ryan, Mickey O’Rourke and Mark O’Meara. The group has a number of investments across media, hospitality and other sectors.

Legal Seafoods is a flagship brand in Boston with its chowder reportedly being served at every presidential inauguration since 1981. It was headed by Roger Berkowitz who described the impact of the Covid pandemic as “seismic” in scope.

Advisers: None mentioned

Renatus Comment: Danu Partners has a number of notable and diversified investments including media brands Setanta Sports and Newstalk, hospitality brands PPX Hospitality Brands and Stega, as well as other investments. Danu previously held Playertek which they sold to Catpult. They were were also early backers of the very successful West Cork Distillers.

The group have successfully taken Smith & Wollensky global by opening up franchises in the UK and Taiwan. They will likely look to repeat that roadmap with Legal Seafoods and are no doubt getting value given current global state for full service dining.

Source: The Sunday Times

Setanta Sports Euraisa sells channels to Adjara Group

sentanta sports

Deal Details: Setanta Sports has announced the sale of its Eastern European, Central Asian and Caucasian channels to the Adjara Group for an undisclosed sum.

Setanta Sports is currently owned and led by Mickey O’Rourke. O’Rourke bought out previous partners Leonard Ryan and Mark O’Meara from the business in 2012. This business was led by Dwyer McCaughley who was also a shareholder. Setanta Sports currently operates in Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Estonia, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Moldova, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan. In these countries, the broadcaster holds a significant rights package, which includes the English Premier League, Bundesliga, La Liga, Serie A, Formula and UFC.

Setanta Sports Eurasia has distribution agreements in place with more than 150 operators and is available in 10 million homes across the region.

Adjarasport is a Georgian sports platform, which was founded by in 2013.

Setanta Ukraine is not part of this deal and will continue to be owned and operated by O’Rourke and McCaughley.

Advisers: None mentioned

Renatus Comment: Setanta were probably too early in the UK with their big bet on that market as the price they paid per premiership game was a fraction of what they now trade for. But the success of the business around the world has been amazing. Over the years there have been successful exits of their Australian, Irish, Canadian, African and now this business.

Source: The Sunday Times, Digital TV Europe

GeoPal acquired by Totalmobile


Deal Details: UK-based, Field Service Management Software (FSM) company Totalmobile acquired GeoPal, a Dublin-based provider of mobile workforce management technology.

Totalmobile has a SaaS-based offering of field service and mobile workforce management technology. Totalmobile received backing from Bowmark Capital in 2020.

GeoPal is a similar company whose flexible mobile workforce management solution is currently used by over 200 organisations and 15,000 users. It provides a range of specialised capabilities such as mobile working and real time dashboards, and works with customers including Kier, Babcock and Sisk, to experience an increase in profitability, productivity and health and safety compliance.

Advisers: None mentioned

Renatus Comment: Totalmobile reported revenue of €12.9m and EBITDA of €683k in its mostly recently filed accounts to December 2019. Prior to the transaction, GeoPal was owned by Paul Coyle, Gerard O’Keeffe and Sean O’Reilly. It had received backing from Enterprise Ireland. CEO Gerard O’Keeffe will be staying on with the business post-transaction to help deliver the next phase of growth.

Source: GeoPal

WellAir acquires UV Innovators


Deal Details: WellAir, a leader in delivering clean air solutions to people around the world, today announced the acquisition of UV Innovators (“UVI”), a North Carolina-based developer of medical-grade handheld UVC disinfection technology.

WellAir, headquartered in Dublin, Ireland, with offices in Stamford, Connecticut, and Cary, North Carolina, is a leading provider of infection control solutions. The group operates through its core business brands, Novaerus, Plasma Air, and NuvaWave.

UVI has developed the world’s first handheld instant UVC surface disinfection device.

The financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Advisers: Mark Roberts, partner with Leman Solicitors, provided legal advice to WellAir as part of the transaction.

Source: BusinessWire

Randridge acquires Don O’Malley & Partners Limited


Deal Details: Randridge Holdings Limited has acquired Don O’Malley and Partners for an undisclosed sum.

Limerick-based Don O’Malley & Partners Limited, which was established in 1967, specialises in mechanical and electrical building services engineering.

Randridge Holdings Limited is a member of the Randridge Group of companies headquartered in Wicklow. The group provides whole of life cycle electrical and instrumentation engineering services to both Irish and international clients across the energy, power, process, manufacturing, infrastructure, and life science industries.

Advisers: Don O’Malley Shareholders received corporate finance advice from Benchmark International, led by Brian Casey and Brian O’ Riordan. CDS Law & Tax Firm provided legal advice for Don O’Malley, led by Aoife Garret along with Cliodhna Murphy. The MC2 Team of Sean McSweeney (Partner) and Kathy Leahy provided Tax Advice to the Shareholders of Don O’Malley.

The LK Shields team of Richard Curran (Partner, Corporate) along with his team of Paul Dineen, Sinead Byrne, Jennifer O’Neill, Seanna Mulrean, Gillian Dully, Elaine O’Connor and Jane O’Grady acted for The Randridge Group.

Source: Randridge

Deal Updates & Other News

AIB set to sell problem mortgages to Private Equity firms

It is speculated that US Private-equity firms Apollo and Lone Star are among the final bidders seeking to acquire a portfolio of deep-in-arrears AIB home loans that were originally worth c. €1 billion.

Source: Irish Times

Austrian lender hopeful to acquire Dublin-based Depfa

It is rumoured that Austrian lender Bawag Group is emerging as the frontrunner to acquire Depfa Bank. FMS Wertmanagement, the state-owned bad bank that controls Dublin-based Depfa, is negotiating terms of a deal with Bawag.

Source: Irish Times

Horseware Ireland reportedly in talks with Lonsdale Capital Partners

It has been reported this morning that Lonsdale Capital Partners is in advanced talks to acquire Horseware Ireland.

Horseware Ireland is headquartered in Dundalk, Co. Louth and was founded by Tom McGuinness in 1985. The business manufacturers and sells a range of horse related clothing products and accessories. Horseware Products Ltd reported revenue of €42.8m and EBITDA of €2.9m in its most recently filed accounts to December 2018.

Lonsdale Capital Partners is a UK-based private equity fund founded by Irishmen Ross Finegan and Alan Dargan.

Source: The Sunday 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.

rh hall pic

R & H Hall Unlimited Company (T/A R&H Hall) has been the leading supplier to the Irish feed industry of grain and non-grain feed ingredients since 1839.

In its most recent financial year to July 2019, the business recognised €468.2m in revenue (up 16.8% YoY) and c. €9.7m in EBITDA (up 2.9% YoY). EBITDA converted to a net cash increase of c. €22.1m with the most significant cash movements during the year being €10.0m paid out in dividends and c. €26.3m released from working capital.

The business employed an average of 34 people during the year acorss management, admin, production, sales and distribution at a total cost of c. c. €3.0m.

rh hall bio

The principal activities of Fairhouse Supermarket Ltd is the operation of a Eurospar supermarket and the ownership and management of commercial units in Newpark Shopping Centre, Johnswell Road, Kilkenny.

In its most recent financial year to September 2019, the business reported revenue of €10.8m (up 2.9% YoY) and EBITDA of €0.8m (up 5.5% YoY). EBITDA converted to a net cash decrease of c. €99k with a repayment of bank loans totaling c. €537k being the most significant use of cash.

The business employed an average of 71 people at a cost of c. €1.4m. Fairhouse Supermarket Ltd is wholly owned by Margaret McCarthy and John McCarthy.

eurospar bio


Who: Dublin-based digital food-ordering platform Flipdish, which was founded by brothers Conor and James McCarthy in 2015, has secured funding.

What: Flipdish has secured €40 million from New York-headquartered investment firm Tiger Global Management.

Why: The funding will be used to help Flipdish ramp up operations in Europe.

Source: Flipdish

Who: Further Space, a Glamping accommodation service in Northern Ireland & Scotland has secured funding.

What: Further Space has secured £500,000 in funding, which was secured through Whiterock Finance’s Growth Finance Fund.

Why: The funding will be used to accelerate its plans to grow across Ireland and the UK this year.

Source: Belfast Telegraph

Who: Irish home-care technology company PacSana has raised funding.

What: PacSana has raised €650,000. The investment round was led by Dr Frank Dolphin, co-founder of RelateCare and former HSE chair. The round also included several private investors including Arkphire’s Howard Roberts.

Why: The funding will be used to expand the PacSana team, with a new head of care and additional resources for a US operation.

Source: Irish Times

Who: MedTech firm Microsaic Systems has received backing. The company has developed a mass spectrometer which is a molecular measuring device.

What: The company which is listed on the AIM exchange, has reportedly received funding from Gerry Brandon. Brandon is the CEO of Deepverge and an experienced player in the medtech space. He has recently taken up a non-executive chairman role with Microsaic Systems and it is reported that he has taken a 2.3% stake as part of a £5m fundraise by the company.

Why: The specific use of the funds has not been disclosed.

SourceThe Sunday Times

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.

Stephen Dowling

s dowling

(Google Images & LinkedIn)

gym coffee
stepehn d bio

Ken O’Flaherty

ken o f pic

(Google Images & LinkedIn)

vizor logo
ken o f bio

Brian O’Dwyer

brian o dwyer pic

(Google Images & LinkedIn)

grant thorton logo
Brian O Dwyer bio

Shona O’Hea

shona o hea pic

(Google Images & LinkedIn)

grant thorton logo
shona o head bio

Gareth Cosgrove

gareth cosgrove pic

(Google Images & LinkedIn)

grant thorton logo
garreth cosgrove bio

Jane Gilson

jane gilson


jane gilson bio

Thought for the Week

Bank of Ireland ran a great call during the week on insights into various sectors from the sector heads in the bank.

My takeouts were as follows :


  • Milk production broke 8bn litres(it was 5bn 30 years ago)


  • We export the same amount to UK as entire EU showing how important the UK market is to us.


  • Traffic in and out Dublin airport reduced 77% year-on-year and that included January and February with no real covid effect
  • Accommodation in Dublin city centre hotels was 77% down compared to Galway/Cork at around 53% showing Dublin missing out on staycation trend.
  • Food service turnover is down nearly 45% with pubs and full service most affected within that category.


  • Hybrid /EV car sales account for 20% new car sales from almost zero base in 2015​​​​​


  • Consolidation is happening: 52% of the private homes now in groups of two or more; this is up from 36% in 2020.


  • December showed 17% growth year-on-year grocery sales.

@RenatusCapital Tweets


The year-on-year decline in new Irish cars licensed in January 2021, showing a reduction of 3,717 vehicles licensed when compared with January 2020. According to @CSOIreland


The year-on-year rise of the combined number of new electric and hybrid cars licensed in Ireland as of January 2021, with 5,581 new electric and hybrid cars licensed for this period in 2021 compared to 4,308 for the same period in 2020. According to @CSOIreland


The Ulster Bank PMI score for January 2021, falling by more than half from Decembers score of 52.3. The index tracks changes in total construction activity with a score under 50 representing a drop in activity. @UlsterBank @IndoBusiness


Ireland’s current monthly minimum wage, being the second-highest minimum wage across the EU. According to @eurofound . @IndoBusiness


Ireland’s projected overall GDP growth for 2021, which is set to reach 3.5% in 2022. According to the European Commission’s Winter 2021 Economic Forecast @RTEbusiness


The year-on-year expansion of Irish Gross domestic product (GDP) in 2020, meaning Ireland was the only EU economy to grow last year. The rest of the EU fell by 6.3% overall. According to the European Commission’s Winter 2021 Economic Forecast @IndoBusiness


The year-on-year rise in Irish residential property prices in the year to December 2020. 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

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