Renatus announces that we are seeking a highly motivated and entrepreneurial individual to join our team, AMCS to acquire Quentic, ESW acquires Scalefast and much more in our latest weekly newsletter.
Renatus Weekly M&A & Company Performance Private Equity Newsletter 15/05/2022
Please find below this week’s newsletter covering the latest M&A, company performance, fundraisings and executive moves.
We Are Hiring – PE Associate Role
We are hiring!
We are excited to announce that we are seeking a highly motivated and entrepreneurial individual to join our team as a Private Equity Associate.
We’re looking for an individual with ambition, tenacity and a love of entrepreneurs and SMEs to help us build exceptional businesses across Europe and beyond. Our small, tight-knit team means that Associates play an integral role in our activities and receive a high-degree of exposure and responsibility from day one.
The ideal candidate would have 1-5 years’ experience in Corporate Finance, Transaction Services or a similar role.
If you, or someone you know, is interested in applying, please visit Renatus.ie/careers to learn more and apply.
THOUGHT OF THE WEEK
Richard Curran signposts eloquently in today’s Sunday Indo the current direction of travel of Brexit negotiations.
There seems to be no will from Westminster to build an agreement from the current protocol as previously agreed. The next step is a suggestion of a trade border north and south in Ireland which will be politically unacceptable. Therefore much stricter checks between the island of Ireland and the rest of the EU is the most logical solution assuming the status quo is unacceptable.
The extent of these checks is unknown and maybe we are ready based on our practices for exporting to the UK but it is one to keep an eye on for Irish exporters.
AMCS to acquire Quentic
Deal Details: Limerick-based AMCS has agreed a deal to acquire German company, Quentic. Deal details have not been disclosed and the transaction is subject to regulatory approval.
AMCS is a global leader in integrated software and vehicle technology for the environmental, recycling, and resource industries. The business is led by CEO and co-founder Jimmy Martin. In connection with the deal, Clearlake Capital, Insight Partners, ISIF and Highland Europe are committing further equity to AMCS.
Quentic is based in Berlin, Germany, and provides SaaS solutions for EHSQ and ESG management. Its solutions allow companies to manage areas such as health & safety, risks & audits, and hazardous chemicals. The business is led by CEO, Markus Becker. The business last reported revenues of c. €14m in 2019.
Advisers: AMCS: Legal: A Maples team of Colm Rafferty, Morgan Pierse and Lianne Canty.
Quentic: None mentioned.
Renatus Comment: Acquisitions have played a huge role in accelerating AMCS’ growth in recent years. The business is currently on 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 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: AMCS Press Release
ESW acquires Scalefast
Deal Details: Dublin headquartered e-commerce unicorn, ESW (formerly EShopWorld) has acquired US e-commerce company Scalefast. The deal consideration was not disclosed however various reports suggest the deal was worth c. €284m.
Founded in 2010 by Tommy Kelly, ESW is a global direct-to-consumer (DTC) e-commerce business, which empowers brands and retailers to make global shopping better. Headquartered in Dublin, ESW has global offices in the US, UK, France, Italy, Hong Kong, and Singapore. The business reported turnover of c. €844m in FY20 which converted to an EBITDA of almost €40m. ESW is an Asendia Group company, a joint venture between La Poste and Swiss Post.
Founded in 2014, Scalefast specialises in providing global e-commerce-as-a-service solutions to brands. The business has a presence in five countries, including the US, Spain, France, Switzerland, and Japan and serves consumers in more than 200 countries and territories. The business is privately-owned, VC-backed, and employs 350+ staff. Investors include Benhamou Global Ventures, Crédit Mutuel Equity and Adara Ventures.
Advisers: None mentioned.
Renatus Comment: As E-commerce enablers, both ESW and Scalefast have been real winners from the pandemic-fuelled shift to online purchasing. ESW has been on a phenomenal growth trajectory over the last couple of years with revenue growing from c. €211m in FY16 to c. €844m in FY20.
Asendia completed its acquisition of ESW in April of last year in a deal that valued the business at over €1bn, putting ESW on the elite and growing list of Irish unicorns alongside the likes of Wayflyer, Flipdish, AMCS, Workhuman, and LetsGetChecked among others. This acquisition is ESW’s first and appears to be highly complementary.
Writech, founded in 1981 by Mary and Thomas Wright before sons Ted and Alan took over in 2008, designs, manufactures, installs, and services fire systems across a range of sectors including data centres, life sciences, logistics, retail, office, and food & beverage. The business reported a turnover of over €22m in 2021 and employed a total of 83 employees. Writech has offices in Ireland, England, and the Middle East. The business has been backed by Waterland since it made an investment in August of 2021.
Ce Sprinkler, based in Nyköping, Sweden was founded in 1950 by Carl Erik Eriksson and Elof Karlsson. It provides a wide range of sprinkler services including consulting, design, prefabrication, assembly, as well as service and maintenance. Ce Sprinkler employs c. 30 staff and prior to this acquisition the business was run and owned by Jim Nilsson, Tobias Borg, and Nicklas Nilsson. The business reported revenue of c. €5.3m in FY20.
Advisers: None mentioned.
Renatus Comment: Writech looks like another company that has delivered for global customers in Ireland and has the potential to follow them around the world in its next chapter. This acquisition along with its acquisition of UK-based Compco in March will allow the business to do just this by giving one of the largest providers of fire protection systems in Ireland and the UK a foothold in the Scandinavian market.
Source: Ce Sprinkler Press Release
Element Pictures acquired by Fremantle
Deal Details: Dublin-headquartered Element Pictures has been acquired by US-based Fremantle Group. Deal details have not been disclosed.
Element Pictures is a film and drama production company, based in Dublin. The business is wholly owned by its co-founders, Andrew Lowe and Edward Guiney. It does not report turnover or EBITDA information.
Fremantle Group is a global content creator, producer and distributor, based in New York. The business is part of the RTL Group, owned by US media, services and education company, Bertelsmann. The European operation is led by Andrea Scrosati.
Advisers: Element Legal: A Philip Lee team, led by Jonathan Kelly and including Rebecca Clabby and Mary Hennessy, acted as Irish legal counsel.
Fremantle Group: None mentioned.
Renatus Comment: This deal will see Element Pictures capitalise on its considerable success in recent years. The business has been in operation for 21 years and has had a number of highly successful productions. Most recently, the company has been responsible for the production of Sally Rooney’s record-breaking ‘Normal People’, as well as ‘Conversations with Friends’ which airs this week.
Partnering with Fremantle and utilising its global expertise in film and TV production will hopefully see Element Pictures reach new heights.
XOCEAN acquires Geomara
Deal Details: XOCEAN has acquired Irish-based Geomara. The deal consideration was not disclosed.
Based in Galway, Geomara is a high-resolution subsea survey provider serving clients in various sectors including oil and gas, renewable energy, submarine communications, government as well as research and academia. The business was founded in 2012 and was owned entirely by Finn Delaney and Eoghan Kieran before this acquisition.
Founded in Greenore, co. Louth in 2017, by current CEO James Ives, XOCEAN offers ocean data collection as a turnkey service. The business employed c. 28 people in FY20 and has offices in Ireland, the UK, Canada, and Norway. The business is majority-owned by The Ives family, Chris Huskilson, Enterprise Ireland, and various other members of the management team and investors.
Advisers: None mentioned.
Renatus Comment: XOCEAN has appeared frequently in our newsletter over the past three years having raised funding three times since June 2019 and completed one other acquisition.
These fundraises included a c. €500k investment from former CEO of Emera, Chris Huskilson, a c. €7.9m investment round in November of 2019, and a c. €8m investment round led by VentureWave Capital in October of 2021.
XOCEAN’s last acquisition was of UK-based 4D Ocean in December of 2019 which allowed the business to expand into processing and analysing the data that it captures.
Source: XOCEAN Press Release
Clontarf Energy acquires stake in Sasanof Prospect
Deal Details: Irish headquartered Clontarf Energy plc has acquired a 10% stake in the Sasanof Prospect located in Western Australia. The deal consideration was reported to be over €4.3m made up of c. €3.8m in cash and c. €561k in Clontarf Energy ordinary shares.
Founded in 2003, Clontarf Energy plc is focused on oil, mineral, and gas exploration, mainly in South America and Africa. The business is publicly traded on the London stock exchange and trades under the ticker ‘CLON’. The business is led by Executive Chairman John Teeling, Director David Horgan and Finance Director Jim Finn.
The Sasanof Prospect is a natural gas well located off the coast of Australia which covers an area of 400 km². In the event of a discovery being declared at the Sasanof-1 Well, the consideration could be further increased by shares in Clontarf energy currently valued up to €9.16m.
Advisers: None mentioned.
Renatus Comment: The price of natural gas has soared over the past 5 months with the commodity trading at c. $3.5610 at the end of December and reaching a 14-year high of $8.7830 last week. The world’s attempted transition away from Russian gas has been the main driver of this trend with the supply/demand balance rapidly tightening.
Established as Harry Lisney & Son in 1934, Lisney is one of the largest Irish-owned full-service property companies, providing both residential and commercial services. The business reported revenue of c. €9.5m in FY March 2021 which converted to an EBITDA of around €500k. The business is owned by various individuals with management holding the majority of shares. The business is led by managing director David Byrne.
One of the world’s largest brokers of fine and decorative art, jewellery, and collectibles, Sotheby’s, launched Sotheby’s International Realty (SIR) in 1976. The business operates as a franchise focusing on brokering and marketing of residential real estate.
Advisers: None mentioned.
Renatus Comment: Lisney has been on an impressive growth trajectory over the past few years having made significant steps to expand throughout Ireland by opening multiple new branches. The business seems to be targeting the higher end of the market with its three newest Dublin branches located in Blackrock, Ranelagh, and Dalkey, three of the most expensive locations in Dublin for residential property.
With that in mind, this partnership with SIR seems like a natural fit with the SIR brand known globally as a luxury residential real estate business.
Aedifica is a listed company that specialises in investments in European healthcare real estate, in particular, housing for seniors with care needs. Aedifica has developed a portfolio of over 590 sites in Belgium, Germany, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, Finland, Sweden, Ireland, and Spain, worth more than €5 billion.
Three of these care homes were newly built and acquired from German portfolio of real estate and investment projects, Delsk Group. The two other care home projects acquired by Aedifica have not yet been constructed and will be operated by Bartra Healthcare and Grace Healthcare.
Advisers: Aedifica: Legal: Simmons + Simmons led by corporate partner David Brangam and real estate partner Peter McKeever.
Renatus Comment: Since March of this year, the business had acquired four Irish care and nursing homes with this deal bringing the total for 2022 up to nine. Aedifica’s total Irish portfolio currently stands at 14 care and nursing homes.
Source: Simmons + Simmons Press Release
DEAL UPDATES & OTHER NEWS
Davy Global Fund Management’s acquisition by IQ-EQ granted regulatory approval
Deal Details: The deal which will see IQ-EQ acquire Davy’s Global Fund Management practice has been granted regulatory approval. The deal was announced in July 2021. Deal details were not disclosed. IQ-EQ is a Luxembourg-based investor services group.
Advisors: Davy Legal: A William Fry team led by Bryan Bourke, Elaine Morrissey (Corporate & M&A), Vincent Coyne, Patricia Taylor and John Aherne (Asset Management).
Source: William Fry Press Release
T.R. Trading Enterprises Limited (T/A TR Logistics Group) is a cargo forwarding company, transporting containers by land and sea. The business is based in Belfast, Co. Antrim. It is owned by Linda, Michael and Neil Rodgers.
The business reported FY21 revenue of c. £13.1m, a 9.3% increase year-on-year. This converted to an EBITDA of c. £1.0m, a 7.3% increase year-on-year. The increase in EBITDA was primarily driven by increased revenues, with the company’s gross margin decreasing marginally.
The business finished the year with a cash balance of £3.8m, an increase of £0.9m over the year. The business employed an average of 66 people, at an annual cost of c. £1.9m.
Fermanagh-based Steel Holdco Limited, trading as Steel Solutions, offers steel products and services such as structural steel, steel intumescent paint systems, floor decking, cladding, and precast floors and stairs.
The business reported a turnover of c. £15.3m which converted to an EBITDA of c. £2.7m, representing a 2.3% decrease and 5.9% increase from last year’s figures, respectively. c. £14.7m of the business’ £15.3m turnover came from Europe with the remainder coming from the UK.The business closed FY21 with a net cash balance of c. £8.8m, an increase of c. £2.7m.
The business employed an average of 92 staff throughout FY21 at a cost of c. £2.6m. The ultimate controlling party of the business is James Rooney.
Who: AIB Foresight SME Impact Fund – AIB and SME investor Foresight Group have partnered to launch a new €75m private equity fund into the Irish market.
What: AIB has committed €30m to the fund, which aims to raise €75m to invest in SMEs across the Island of Ireland. The new fund will provide equity investments of €2m-€5m but will have the ability to make larger or smaller investments.
Why: The AIB Foresight SME Impact Fund will back businesses helping to accelerate Ireland’s transition towards a low-carbon economy.
Who: Seaplane IO, the Irish co-founded cloud management platform, has raised funding. Seaplane allows businesses to build and scale apps globally without the pain of managing cloud infrastructure.
What: The business has raised $15m (€14.3m) in a funding round led by Sequoia.
Why: The funding will be used to build out Seaplane’s team, with a particular focus on software developers in Europe.
Source: The Business Post
Who: Wayleadr, an Irish-founded, New York-based parking management software business.
What: The business has raised c. €3.7m in funding in a round led by Third Prime ventures and was participated in by BVP Investments.
Advisors: LK Shields Solicitors LLP acted for BVP Investments in its participation in this funding round. Emmet Scully and Kris O’Shea from LK Shields advised BVP Investments Limited.
Why: The funding will go toward supporting the business’ global growth as it expands out of the US market.
Source: LK Shields Press Release
Who: ATXA Therapeutics, a clinical-stage pharmaceutical company focused on treatments for cardiopulmonary diseases. The business was founded in May 2015 by Professor Therese Kinsella as a spin-out from the UCD School of Biomolecular and Biomedical Science.
What: The business has raised an undisclosed amount of equity from a number of private investors.
Advisors: IBI Corporate Finance advised on this deal with a team of James Doody and Robert Coyle.
Why: The business reached the milestone of completion of phase one trials in January, this next round of funding will go toward progressing the business past phase two trials.
Source: IBI Corporate Finance Press Release
Who: Irish eCommerce unicorn, Wayflyer. The business was founded in 2015 by Aidan Corbett and Jack Pierse.
What: The business has secured $300m in debt financing from US multinational investment bank, JP Morgan.
Why: The funding is expected to go toward financing the business’ rapid growth and reducing the business’ cost of capital.
Source: Business Post
Who: VisionR, a provider of Data analytics for brick-and-mortar stores. The business was founded by Oran Mulvey and Shane O’Sullivan. It was previously called Glimpse.
What: The business has raised c. €1.5m in funding in a round led by Delta Partners and participated in by Seán Mitchell (Movidius) and Enterprise Ireland.
Why: The funding will go toward supporting growth outside of Ireland with the business having recently secured a partnership with Spar International.
What: The duo has launched a €50m fund targeting the hospitality sector with a focus on hotels that have been adversely affected by COVID. Pembroke will manage and execute the fund in partnership with BVP Investments.
Why: The fund aims to invest in hotels that require funding to support working capital and cash flow, capital expenditure, as well as green and environmentally sustainable investment funding.
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.
The year-on-year increase in the amount of Irish electricity provided by wind as of April 2022 when compared with the same month in 2021. 32% of Ireland’s total power was provided by wind in April 2022. According to @WindEnergyIRL.
The fall in beer production in Ireland between 2020 and 2021. Sales also fell 1.3% overall during 2021. According to @DrinksIrlBeer.
The proportion of vehicles sold in Ireland between January and April 2022 which were either electric or plug-in electric hybrid vehicles. According to @CSOIreland.
The total value of loans drawn down in Ireland between January and March of this year. This is a 32.9% increase on the same figure from 2021 for the same period year-on-year. According to @BPFINews.
4.3% & 6%
The respective increases in the rate of energy usage & energy-related C02 emissions in Ireland during 2021. According to @SEAI_ie.
The annual rate of inflation in Ireland as of APril 2022, the highest rate in 22 years, according to @CSOIreland.
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Renatuswas 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:
Growth financing – both organic and acquisition growth financing