Please find below this week’s newsletter covering the latest M&A, company performance, fundraisings and executive moves.
There are two types of entrepreneurs as defined by academia: ‘pull’ and ‘push’.
‘Pull’ are driven by a desire to solve something or set up an amazing company. The ‘push’ ones are forced to set something up by an event.
A number of great Irish businesses were set up due to ‘push’ factors.
Digital closure in the early 90s created a number of ventures, including Brian Long’s Parthus and many more.
Motorola pulled out of cork and created at least ten known start-ups, many very successful. Gateway did something similar, and there are many more.
We were privileged to be at the Deloitte Fast 50 during the week seeing most of the fastest-growing companies on the island of Ireland defined very objectively by one measure: turnover.
When we studied the LinkedIn profiles of the c-suite of these 50 trailblazers, the striking thing to us was that there was scant representation of the Hollywood caricature of the high school dropout who chased the entrepreneurial dream.
The vast majority held senior PAYE positions before setting up their business; many were in the global TMT companies based in Ireland.
This halo effect of global giants based here early spawned these ‘pull’ entrepreneurs who are now in the Deloitte Fast50.
It suggests to us that many of those talented staff of tech giants recently laid off will be ‘push’ entrepreneurs and create enterprises with more true roots in Ireland than their previous counterparts.
Deal Details: Uniphar PLC has acquired BModesto in a deal reported to be worth €75m, including a €51m upfront payment.
Uniphar Group is an international healthcare services business with over 200 customers in the pharmaceutical and MedTech industries. Uniphar was established following a merger between United Pharmacies Co-Op and Allied Pharmaceutical Distributors in 1994. The business is headquartered in Dublin and was listed on Euronext Dublin and the London Stock Exchange in 2019. In FY21, the business reported turnover of c. €1.9bn, which converted to an EBITDA of c. €86.5m. The business has a workforce of over 2,900 staff dispersed throughout Ireland, the UK, Benelux, Nordics, Germany, Switzerland, and the USA.
BModesto is a pharmaceutical wholesaler with a trademark for various medications and, as the exclusive distributor, is responsible for the marketing and distribution of multiple drugs. The business was founded in 2014 by Michael Hendricks, who leads the business as general director alongside Roy Van Voorst, managing director. The business is headquartered in Lelystad, Netherlands. In FY21, the business reported a turnover of almost €250m.
Corporate Finance: Capnua Corporate Finance (Ireland) alongside YES Corporate Finance B.V. (NL). The Capnua team consisted of Eamonn Hayes, Jamie McConnell and Conor Guerin. The YES team consisted of Arjan Boonekamp, Guido Emanuels, Hidde Schipper.
Renatus Comment: This is Uniphar’s 3rd major acquisition since September, having previously acquired the McCauley Pharmacy Group and Inspired Health. Uniphar has adopted a consolidation strategy across the Pharma and MedTech value chains with McCauley and Inspired both at the consumer-facing end of the value chain and BModesto further upstream. The business is focused on expanding across Ireland, Europe and the US, with each of the three most recent acquisitions headquartered in a separate geography.
The public markets seem to be responding well to Uniphar’s current strategy and performance. Uniphar’s shares began trading at €1.15 when it conducted an IPO in 2019 and the share price as of the end of trading on Friday was €3.45.
Source: The Irish Times
Deal Details: AssuredPartners have acquired O’Callaghan Insurances. Deal consideration was not disclosed.
O’Callaghan Insurances is a Dundalk-based insurance broker established in 1949. It has a significant online presence through QuoteMe.ie. The business reported turnover of c. €3.2m, which converted to EBITDA of €0.2m. Caeva and Clodagh O’Callaghan owned the business.
AssuredPartners is one of the largest independently owned brokers in the world. Since being established in 2011, it has acquired over 400 brokers. It is based in Florida, USA. The business is owned by Chicago-based PE firm GTRC.
Deal advisory: Mazars led by Eoin O’Keeffe with Daniel Gallery, Megan Duffy and Anton Martin.
Legal: McKeever Taylor led by Fiach McHugh and Matthew Wilson.
Legal: Arthur Cox led by Michael Coyle (Corporate and M&A) including Magda Jasinska, Ellen Gaffney (Corporate and M&A), Brian O’Rourke, William Hurley (Property), Cian Beecher, Ciara McDermott (Employment), Deirdre Cummins (Pensions), Ian Duffy, Rosemarie Blake (Technology), Stephen D’Ardis (Insurance), Ailish Finnerty and Simona Prielaidaite (Tax).
FDD: PwC led by John Casey and David Connolly.
TDD: PwC led by Ronan MacNiochlais and Tim Kiely.
Renatus Comment: Assured Partners entered the Irish insurance consolidation race earlier this year with the acquisition of Kerry-based Gallivan Murphy Insurance Brokers Limited (GMIB). This topic was covered in our blog which can be accessed here.
Source: AssuredPartners Press Release
Deal Details: Ballymaloe Foods has acquired MamaBear Foods for an undisclosed sum.
Founded in 1990 by Yasmin Hyde, Cork-based Ballymaloe Foods produces relishes, condiments and other food products. In FY21, the business reportedly had a turnover of c. €7.5m. Yasmin and Maxine Hyde own the business.
Founded in 2018, MamaBear Foods is a Cork-based producer of healthy ketchup and pasta sauces. The business does not report turnover or EBITDA information. The business was owned by Loretta Kennedy and Ruairi Hayes.
Advisers: None mentioned
Renatus Comment: This marks Ballymaloe Food’s first acquisition since its inception. Both businesses have embarked on impressive brand-driven growth stories, starting in a kitchen and growing to now being nationally stocked brands. MamaBear Foods will continue operating under the same name following the acquisition.
The Irish food and drink industry continues to be a significant area of growth. According to a Bank of Ireland study, food and drink exports were up by 24% in the year to April 2022.
Source: Irish Independent
Deal Details: Ameresco, Inc. (NYSE: AMRC), a cleantech integrator specializing in energy efficiency and renewable energy has acquired a wind farm in West Cork, Ireland.
The wind farm is designed to deliver a total combined capacity of 5MW of clean energy and is expected to supply c. 3,000 homes.
Ameresco, Inc. supplies energy solutions for businesses and organizations throughout North America and Europe. In FY21, the business reported turnover of c. €1.2bn which converted to and EBITDA of c. €152.7m.
Legal: LK Shields led by Philip Daly (Head of Energy) assisted by Jamie Ritchie (Construction), Jenny Ahern (Banking), and associates Elaine O’Connor (Property), Daniel Keegan (Corporate), Emma Fleming (Property) and Kate Dundon (Banking).
Cork Wind Farm:
Renatus Comment: This is Ameresco’s first wind farm acquisition in Ireland since it acquired Beale Hill Wind farm in county Kerry in 2020. Wind farm acquisitions have been a frequent feature in this newsletter over the past months, with Greencoat being the most acquisitive player in the Irish market. With Ireland’s ambition to hit 70% renewable energy usage by 2030, there is plenty of road left for businesses like Ameresco to invest in Irish assets.
Source: Ameresco Press Release
Deal Details: Aergo Capital has acquired Seraph Aviation for an undisclosed sum.
Aergo Capital is a Dublin-based aircraft leasing firm. It will assume the management and administration of Seraph’s 88 aviation assets spread across 38 unique lessees with a combined asset value of $2.5 billion, bringing its total fleet to 304 aircraft with a total value of $6.8 billion.
Seraph Aviation is a Dublin-based firm that specialises in aircraft management services and related capital markets. It rebranded to Seraph Aviation following the buyout of its majority shareholder Douglas Brennan in 2020. It was previously known as the Stellwagen Group.
Legal: Flynn O’Driscoll consisting of Claire McDermott, Mark Roberts, Pat Flynn, Kevin Nestor and internal Aergo counsel Cian McGinley and Neil O’Donnell.
Tax: KPMG led by Amanda McHugh.
Legal: A&L Goodbody.
Renatus Comment: Scale is of critical importance in the aircraft leasing sector, with larger players being able to target OEMs instead of operating in lower-quality sale-leaseback markets. 2021 was a busy year for consolidation in the space, with mega deals like AerCap’s acquisition of GECAS. Activity has slowed down in 2022 somewhat, with the sector facing several challenges, including contested insurance claims over the recovery of assets seized by Russia and other macroeconomic headwinds. However, the long-term outlook remains positive, with the establishment of PIMCO-backed High Ridge Aviation earlier this month being another vote of confidence for the industry’s future in Ireland.
Source: Aergo Capital Press Release
Deal Details: Dublin-based Glenpatrick Water Coolers has acquired Galway-based Celtic Water Solutions (CWS). The deal consideration was not disclosed.
Established in 1998, Glenpatrick is a water and water cooler product supplier. The business reported FY21 turnover of almost €2.2m. The company is majority owned by the Queally family, Asim Shahzad, Junaid Subhani, Marie Crowley, Aileen Behan and various other individuals.
CWS provides water treatment and hygiene solutions to residential, commercial, and industrial customers. The business was established in 2002 and was owned by Derek Ryan and Malachy Fahy. The company employs a total of 31 staff as of FY21.
Legal: LK Shields, with a team of Gemma Forde, Kris O’Shea, Gillian Dully, Jennifer O’Neill, Aideen Burke, Eimear McCluskey and Emer Wilkie was led by Richard Curran.
Renatus Comment: This is Glenpatrick’s second acquisition in the Irish water market after acquiring Echo Water earlier this year. Both acquisitions appear focused on broadening Glenpatrick’s offering within the water sector, with Echo having a strong customer base in hospitality and office settings and CWS having a strong position in commercial water service, water softeners and well pumps.
Source: LK Shields Press Release
Deal Details: Petroleum Installation Solutions (PIS) Ireland has been acquired by LCM Environmental Group for a reported seven-figure sum.
Petroleum Installation Solutions (PIS) Ireland is a Belfast-based fuel installation and forecourt services company. It was owned by David Wright and Colin Doyle. The business does not report turnover or EBITDA information.
LCM Environmental Group is a Lancashire-based fuel management compliance and environmental services company. It is owned by Christian Bingham, Daniel Holmes, Richard Wallace, Jeremy Cosway and Benjamin Duckworth. The business does not report turnover or financial information.
Accounting: SCC Accountants led by Sean Cavanagh and Kathy Daly.
Legal: O’Reilly and Stewart Solicitors led by Seamus McGranaghan and Conor Cleverley.
Renatus Comment: Since its establishment in 1987, LCM has made several acquisitions. Following this deal with PIS, it will now operate six companies under the Craggs Energy Group umbrella. It has targeted integration in both the downstream and upstream fuel space, offering fuel supply, broker and card services. PIS should be a complimentary add-on to the business and will expand LDM’s product offering to include services such as pump sales, tank gauging, and vapour testing.
Source: The Irish News
Deal Details: Kildare-based Rye River Brewing Company has received an undisclosed investment, reportedly in the millions, from German brewer Warsteiner.
Rye River Brewing Company (RBC) is a beer producer based in Celbridge. Tom Cronin is the founder and managing director. The business’s signature beer brands include The Crafty Brewing Co, Grafters, Solas and McGargles as well as exclusive beers for some of Ireland’s biggest retailers including Lidl, Tesco and Dunnes. The business reported an FY21 turnover of over €7.5m which converted to an EBITDA of almost €400k. Various investors, including Dunport Capital, owned RBC.
Founded in 1753, Warsteiner is a German brewery conglomerate that supplies beer worldwide. The business did not report turnover and is reportedly owned by the founding Cramer family.
Legal: Flynn O’Driscoll led by David Ryan (Partner), Alison Kenny (Associate), Alastair Baird (Solicitor) and Rebecca Williams (Trainee).
Renatus Comment: Beer is a tricky business to succeed in. The space is fragmented, with dozens of independent brands in the market. All the while, the real power in the sector lies with the major brewers who leverage their position with the on and off trade to push their own brands and products. The big brewery’s strategy seems to be to let independents get going, buy the successful ones and integrate them into their portfolios.
While RBC looks to have successfully pushed on from a small independent brewer, consolidating and establishing its own portfolio of brands, this investment should go a long way in expanding the brand throughout Europe and the world.
Deal Details: Rhino, an insuretech business, has acquired Irish founded ‘escrow as a service’ business Deposify. The deal consideration has not been disclosed but was reportedly a multi million euro deal.
Deposify was founded in 2014 by Jon Bayle, Dave Brennan, and Tony Kelly. While the business was founded in Ireland, it is US-focused. The business provides a platform for landlords and tenants to manage finances and the compliance obligations involved in handling security deposits across multiple properties and states. The business did not report turnover or EBITDA information. The business was acquired by US private equity firm Sunriver Ventures earlier this year.
Founded in 2016, Rhino is a New York-based insuretech business. The business was founded by Paraag Sarva, Bryan Woods, Benjamin Lantos and Ankur Jain and reported annual recurring revenue of over $60m in 2021.
Advisers: None mentioned.
Renatus Comment: Just a few months ago, Deposify was acquired by US private equity firm Sunriver Ventures with many of the business’s previous backers exiting the business. Rhino, recently valued at c. $750m after a $130m raise, will reportedly become a unicorn after this latest acquisition of Deposify.
Source: Business Post
Deal Details: Louth-based Loughran Brewing Stores has acquired UK-based Brewers Select. The deal consideration was not disclosed.
Based in Dundalk and founded in 2014, Loughran Brewing Stores is a provider and distributor of grain to craft breweries all over Ireland. The business is majority owned and led by James Loughran, who is the seventh generation of his family to farm barley at their current location. The business did not report turnover information.
Based in Peterborough, Brewers Select (now Loughran Brewers Select) is a supplier of brewing ingredients. The business supplies around 800 breweries in the UK. The business did not report turnover of EBITDA information and employs c. 14 people.
Deal Advisory: Grant Thornton
Renatus Comment: This acquisition, which is Loughran’s first, will see the business expand further into the UK, acquiring both a strong portfolio of customers and a facility in Peterborough. The combined business will have a reported turnover in excess of €12m.
Deal Details: Castlegate has invested in the Irish cosmetic brand Kash Beauty.
The deal consideration was not disclosed, with Castlegate becoming a ‘significant minority shareholder’. Founded in 2020 by Keilidh Cashell, Kash is an Irish cosmetics brand. The business did not report financial information and was owned by Keilidh Cashell, Sarah Kiernan and Conor Cochrane.
CastleGate is a private Irish family fund owned by Tommy Kelly and is led by former Goodbody Stockbrokers chief executive, Roy Barrett.
Advisers: None mentioned.
Renatus Comment: Kash Beaty has exhibited outstanding growth in the two years since its founding. The business has won multiple awards for its product line, is available in 96 outlets throughout Ireland and has online sales globally. Castlegate’s recent investments include Sherry Fitzgerald, Gym+Coffee and CWSI.
Deal Details: Lisburn-based blind-maker Mzuri Group has acquired Gardin Lis for an undisclosed amount.
Mzuri Group manufactures over 50,000 blinds per week from a range of product types and styles. In FY20, the business reported turnover of c. £109.4m which converted to an EBITDA of c. £9.0m. The business is owned by a variety of individuals and investors including Jonathan Mccluggage, Aaron Zimmatore, Russell Dickson, Stuart Dickson and BGF.
Gardin Lis is based in Denmark and offers a selection of curtains, blinds, and roller blinds. In FY21, the business reported turnover of c. €2.4m, which converted to an EBITDA of c. €0.6m.
Advisers: None Mentioned.
Renatus Comment: BGF first backed Mzuri Group in April 2020 and invested a further £10m in June 2022, bringing total investment in the company to £20m. The purchase of Gardin Lis is the latest in a series of acquisitions Mzuri has made in the past 24 months.
Source: Irish News
Deal Details: Ireland’s electricity grid operator EirGrid and its French counterpart Réseau de Transport d’Electricité (RTE) have signed key technical and financial agreements for the Celtic Interconnector. Among these agreements includes an agreement for €800 million of financing to be provided by the European Investment Bank, Danske Bank, Barclays and BNP.
The Celtic Interconnector is a 700MW subsea cable or ‘electricity highway’, allowing electricity to be exported between Ireland and France.
Legal: The Eversheds Sutherland European Energy team supported EirGrid Group and Réseau de Transport d’Électricité on this project with a team of Mark Varian, David Jones, Jacques Bouillon, Olivier Le Bars, Peter Curran, Ray Hetherington, Alison Mallard, John Batten, Richard Streeter, Rupert Lugg, Phelim McGeady, Dr Aine Smith and Alix Boudin-Gilles.
Source: EirGrid Press Releasex
Based in Kerry, Ahern’s Motor Group is a car dealership specialising in BMW, Mazda, SEAT, and Opel sales. The business also offers a range of used cars, other car services, and CVRT testing.
In FY December 2021, the business generated a turnover of c. €22.6.m, an increase of 28.8% year-on-year. This converted to an EBITDA of c. €1.2m, an increase of 17.1% year-on-year.
Significant post-EBITDA cash movements included the purchase of tangible assets of c. €317k and non-bank loan movements of c. €270k. The business finished the year with a cash balance of c. €300k, a c. €250k increase on FY20.
Patrick and Paul Ahern own the business. Ahern’s Motor Group’s total revenues were generated from the Republic of Ireland.
Cru Na Greine Limited trading as Keane’s SuperValu, is based in Killorglin, Co. Kerry. The business also operates a car wash and forecourt. It is owned by Peter and Siobhan Keane.
In its financial year to January 2022, the business generated a turnover of c. €17.1m, an increase of 13.7% year-on-year. This converted to a c. €1.4m EBITDA, an increase of 78.3%. The increase in EBITDA was driven by the business realising significant operating leverage linked to its topline growth.
The business finished the year with a cash balance of c. €1.1m, a c. €0.3m increase on FY21. Significant post-EBITDA cash movements included the purchase of tangible fixed assets and the repayment of bank loans.
The business employed an average of 71 people during the year at a total cost of c. €1.6m.
Who: Novus Diagnostics, a MedTech company that empowers clinicians with highly accurate and timely diagnostic information in order to improve treatment of patients in the critical early stages of infection.
What: The business has raised €5m in a funding round led by Grimpeur Holdings and including Enterprise Ireland and the European Innovation Council.
Legals: MWM Legal.
Why: The funding will allow the business to increase its team and rapidly accelerate its development programme, following its SepTec product delivering promising results in pilot-scale clinical studies.
Source: Business Plus
Who: Barryroe, an offshore oil and gas exploration company off the coast of West Cork.
What: The company has €40m in Redeemable Convertible Secured Loan Notes from its majority shareholder, Vevan Unlimited, to underwrite all of the expected funding required to be awarded to the Barryroe Lease Undertaking.
Why: The funding will allow Barryroe to proceed with the next phase of drilling off the coast of Cork, with drilling expected to commence at the beginning of 2024.
Vevan Unlimited Company:
Vevan were advised on the deal by IBI Corporate Finance led by Tom Godfrey, Laurence O’Shaughnessy and Michael Moriarty.
Source: Irish Examiner
Who: Akkure, a NovaUCD start-up that has developed a clinical trials platform using AI, which helps people to participate in the most relevant clinical trials based on data about themselves and their condition.
What: The business has raised €1m in a crowdfunding campaign through the Spark Crowdfunding platform.
Why: This funding will support Akkure’s plans to open a US office.
Source: Capital IQ
Who: The Conscious Beauty Group, a cosmetics company specialising in natural, vegan and high-performance hair and beauty products.
What: The group has raised £4m in seed funding with £1.25m from Aircore Ventures and Indian beauty conglomerate Lotus Herbals.
Why: The funding will allow the business to further penetrate the US market and extend into the sustainable personal care and wellness category with future innovation.
Source: The Irish News
Who: Ceroflo, a Galway-based medical device consortium aiming to help develop disruptive technology in the treatment of stroke.
What: The business has been awarded €3.6m in funding from Disruptive Technologies Innovation Fund (DTIF), a fund backed by the Irish government.
Why: The funding will allow the company to accelerate its development of stent technology that is more effective than existing treatments for Intracranial Atherosclerotic Disease (ICAD), a leading cause of stroke.
Source: Business Plus
Who: Hub Planner, a SaaS platform for resource management, scheduling, holiday planning and time reporting.
What: The business has received an undisclosed amount (reportedly in the region of €19.0m) in equity funding from Monterro, a B2B software investor. Monterro will take a majority stake in Hub Planner.
Why: The investment will allow the business to accelerate its expansion and growth through both the additional capital and Monterros experience in the industry.
Source: Business Plus
Who: Florie, a Dublin-based healthcare communications start-up.
What: The business has raised $5.5 million in a fundraise led by Drake Enterprises, a US-based firm. This funding round gives the company a total valuation of c. $40 million.
Why: The business plans to use the funding to grow its customer base and hopes to reach 50 million patients using the platform over the next three years.
Source: Business Post
Who: Eppione, a global employee benefits platform, founded in 2016 by David Kindlon, Neil Fallon and Ernest Legrand.
What: The business raised €2.5m in a funding round led by Venture Capital firm Delta Partners, bringing its total fundraise to €3.75m.
Why: The company will use the funds to grow its business in the UK and Australia as well as helping to develop new features on the platform.
Source: Business Plus
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.
Ireland’s position in PwC’s private business attractiveness index for 33 countries in the EMEA region. The index considers macroeconomics, tax, education, and other metrics. The jump from 14th place last year is partly due to Ireland’s Covid response. @PwC
The female representation rate on the boards of the 20 biggest ISEQ-listed companies this year. This represents a 16% increase since 2018 and exceeds the 30% target set for the end of 2022. According to @BalanceInBizIE
The year-on-year increase in the number of people with less disposable income to spend on gifts and entertainment this Christmas. The November consumer sentiment index fell to 45.3 but remains above a 14-month low of 42.1. @creditunionie
The year-on-year decline in housing commencements, with construction commencing on 1,841 units in October. This is mainly due to rising construction costs and interest rates. Housing output may now fall below the government’s 2022 target of 33,000 new units. @IrishTimesBiz
The increase in rental prices advertised for Irish properties in Q3 2022, compared to the same period last year. There is an extreme shortage of rental homes in Ireland, with 1,087 advertised on Daft as of November 1st, down 25% from last year. According to @daftmedia
The drop in wholesale electricity prices to industrial users from September to October. This is lower than at any time over the past 12 months and is 37% lower than in October 2021. Consumer electricity prices are 72% higher than a year ago. @CSOIreland
Ireland’s ranking in the EY Renewable Energy Attractiveness index, which ranks the world’s top 40 markets on the attractiveness of their renewable energy investment and deployment opportunities. This is down from 12th the previous year. @EY_Ireland
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