InsightsNewsletterRenatus’ Weekly M&A Newsletter – 30/01/2022

Renatus’ Weekly M&A Newsletter – 30/01/2022

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Dear Reader,

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

The Renatus Podcast &
Thought For The Week

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Renatus tracks all deals in the Irish market as part of this weekly newsletter. We have summarised some of our key findings from 2021 and created a blog which is linked below.

Some key insights from our review include:

  • 2021 has proven to be another strong year for M&A activity. During the course of 2021 we reported on 391 M&A transactions, a c. 50% increase on 2020.
  • Valuations remained strong in 2021 as the scarcity of quality companies drove competition between buyers.
  • Hot sectors in 2021 included technology, insurance brokers and nursing homes as a number of large players continued a buy and build strategy.
  • Private equity continued to grow in popularity as vendors are now presented with a strong alternative to a trade sale which may enable a significant liquidity event and the ability to participate in the future success of the business. During 2021, we in Renatus added three companies to our family of investments; Kappture, Tipperary Crystal and AQF.

To read our full breakdown and review from 2021, as well as an outlook for 2022 deal activity, read our blog post at the following link:

Renatus Private Equity Newsletter Database M&A Review 2021

M&A Activity

EDPAC is acquired by Munters

MUNTERS

Deal Details: Irish-based EDPAC has been acquired by Swedish-based Munters for a reported €29m.

EDPAC International Ltd manufactures and sells cooling equipment and air handling systems for critical services industries and data centres in Ireland and internationally. The company was founded in 1968 and is based in Cork, Ireland. Prior to its acquisition, EDPAC listed Noel Lynch and Michael Leahy as its main shareholders. The company reportedly had net sales of €17m and an EBITDA of €1.7m in its financial year to April 2021.

Munters Group AB provides energy efficient air treatment and climate solutions for commercial and industrial applications in Sweden, the United States, Germany, China, and internationally. The company is headquartered in Sweden. It is publicly listed and led by CEO, Klas Forsstrom. In FY20, the company had turnover of €669m, which converted to an EBITDA of €94m.

Advisers:
Sell-Side:
Financial: Davy Corporate Finance, Michael Hussey, Mike Meade and Ciara O’Mongain.
Legal: Frank Nyhan & Associates, Helena Hickey and Cormac Nyhan.

Buy Side:
FDD: In-house corporate finance; EY (Fredrik Steenberg, Marcus Purcell, Maurice Kennedy, Sean O’Brien and Daniel O’Brien).
Tax DD: EY (Dave Barry, Edwina Grisewood and Simone Craven).
Legal: William Fry, Barbara Kenny and James McCabe.

Renatus Comment:  Investment in the construction of data centre facilities in Ireland totalled €7 billion in the decade between 2010 and 2020 with there now being over 70 operational data centres in this country. This has been a significant tailwind for businesses such as Edpac.

This latest deal follows the sale of E&I to Vertiv as well as the sale of other smaller downstream operators such as Writech which was acquired by Waterland. The topic of data centres is discussed in detail by Paddy Finn of VIOTAS on our podcast.

You can listen to the Renatus podcast here.

Source: Munters Press Relase

Provident Technology acquired by inTEC

PROVIDENT

Deal Details: Manchester-based inTEC Group has announced the acquisition of Dublin-based Provident Technology. The deal consideration was not disclosed.

Provident Technology is an IT managed service provider with offices in both Dublin and London. The business was owned by John Malone, Gary Cullen, and Colin O’Callaghan prior to the transaction with John Malone being the majority shareholder.

inTEC is an ICT provider that specialises in the design, implementation, and support of a range of cloud services and business applications including IT managed services, IT infrastructure support, hosted collaboration, and communication solutions. The business recently raised a £2.45m investment from Duke Royalty.

The business also recently announced the acquisition of Glasgow-based, Firefly Enterprises. These two deals bring inTEC’s total number of acquisitions since 2016 to 10.

Advisers:
Sell-Side:
FinRes advised Provident Technology on the transaction.

Renatus Comment: ICT managed services is in a consolidating space.

Significant consolidators in the market include Eir and Welltel, to name just two. Welltel acquired Strencom in 2021, Intellicom and Invistech in 2020, Eycro Communications in 2018 and ATS in 2017. Eir acquired Evros Technology Solutions who were themselves very acquisitive prior to that acquisition. Other notable deals in this space include Nostra’s acquisitions of EMIT and Enclave, Unity Technologies’ acquisition of IT Force, and Ergo’s acquisition of Asystec.

SourceinTec Press Release

Waystone receives investment from Hg and acquires KB Associates

WAYSTONE

Deal Details: Irish-headquartered financial services company Waystone has received a reported £31.8m (c. €38m) investment from Hg Capital and acquired Irish professional services firm KB Associates. This deal will also see MML exit its investment in Waystone having backed the company in 2019.

Waystone, founded in 2000, is a provider of institutional governance, risk, and compliance services to the asset management industry.

Hg is a German private equity firm targeting investments in technology and services sectors. This investment is subject to regulatory approval.

KB Associates, established in 2003, is an independent provider of management company and consulting services. The business has offices in Dublin, Luxembourg, London, the Cayman Islands and Malta. Financial details of the KB acquisition were not disclosed.

Advisers:
Grant Thornton provided financial (Dara Kelly) and tax advice (Brian Murphy) to Waystone. Grant Thronton were also part of the transaction team supporting Waystone & MML from the initial investment, throughout all M&A and ultimately working on the investment by Montagu Private Equity and Hg Capital, facilitating the MML exit.

MML and the shareholders were also advised by Baird (John Sun), Squire Patton Boggs (Julian Ciecierski-Burns), Oliver Wyman (Sean Farrar), Lockton (Calvin Barnes) and EY (Ari Constantinou).

Management were advised by Liberty (Tim Thomas) and Matheson (Padraic Roche).

Renatus Comment: Waystone is a good case study of how transformational a well-executed acquisition growth strategy can be for a business. It has been reported that Waystone’s Enterprise Value has grown from c. $100m in 2019 to c. $1.3bn at the time of Hg’s investment this week.

This accelerated scaling was enabled by Waystone conducting nine acquisitions across Europe in that time. This included a merger of four businesses at one time: Titan Regulation, Argus Global CCL Compliance and ISAS in June 2021 which all came under the Waystone brand name.

Source: Waystone Press Release

eir and InfraVia form a joint venture

infravia

Deal Details:  Ireland’s leading telecommunications provider eir has announced a deal with Infravia to establish a joint venture partnership for its wholesale fibre broadband network. The financial details of the transaction were not disclosed.

The new subsidiary will be called Fibre Networks Ireland Limited, which will provide passive broadband services exclusively to open eir, with eir continuing to provide maintenance and services for the network.

InfraVia is a French private equity firm specialising in infrastructure and technology investments. InfraVia recently formed a joint venture with Liberty Global to roll-out fibre-to-the-home networks in Germany.

As part of the deal, InfraVia will take a 49% stake in Fibre Networks.

Investment provided by this joint venture will allow eir to increase the pace of expansion of its fibre broadband network, and it is estimated that 200,000 homes will be passed in 2022, increasing to 250,000 homes in 2023.

Separately, it was reported this week that a total of €930m has been returned to Eir shareholders since Xavier Niel acquired control of Eir in 2017 with this figure soon expected to exceed €1bn.

Advisers:
Buy-Side:
PwC worked with InfraVia on financial and tax due diligence as well as structuring. Paul O’Connor and Sinead Lawlor lead the financial diligence while Nicola Carter worked with John Murphy on the tax workstreams.

Renatus Comment: Although based in France, InfraVia are not new to the Irish market.

In August of 2015, InfraVia carved out Cignal, an Irish TelCo infrastructure provider, from Coillte and expanded its installed base from 300 tower locations to 546 when it sold its stake to Cellnex at a reported €210m Enterprise Value in September 2019.

Outside of infrastructure, InfraVia also currently holds significant stakes in Irish healthcare businesses. InfraVia invested in the Mater Private Group in 2018 and separately acquired CareChoice in 2017 for a reported €70m. InfraVia have been an active participant in the consolidation of the Irish nursing home space with acquisitions of Elm Hall, Brookfield Care and Newtown Park House nursing home operators through CareChoice.

This partnership should bode well for the roll-out of fibre access across Ireland. The financing appears to be in place now to connect anyone who wants fibre broadband, whether it be Fibre Networks Ireland or National Broadband Ireland that delivers it. A positive development for homes and businesses across the country.

Source: eir Press Release

Classic Technology acquired by Trescal

classic tech

Deal Details: Classic Technology, based in Co. Kildare, has been acquired by Trescal, a global leader in calibration services. The deal consideration was not disclosed.

Classic Technology, founded in 1989, is one of the largest calibration companies in Ireland. It specialises in life sciences, especially the pharmaceutical and medical device industries. Prior to the transaction, Classic Technology Limited was primarily owned by Patrick Kinsella and Alan Gilger.

Trescal, headquartered in France, offers an array of industries a single-source solution for calibration, measurement, repair, qualification, validation and asset management across the globe. Trescal’s 4,100 team members perform more than 3.3 million operations per year.

Advisers:
Buy-Side:
Mark Mulcahy, assisted by Des O’Brien, Michael Smollen and Kevin Hogan from Mazars provided financial due diligence to Trescal.

Renatus Comment: This is the second transaction in the life sciences calibration space in short succession. In September of 2021, Irish-based NEXA was acquired by Nasdaq-listed Transcat in a similar move.

Given the size of the pharmaceutical and MedTech industry in Ireland, it is perhaps no surprise to see Irish SMEs, who often provide services to some of the world’s leading companies, as attractive targets for international businesses.

Source: Trescal Press Release

Deal Updates & Other News

Permanent TSB announces new €1bn loan fund for SMEs

Deal Details: Permanent TSB has announced a new €1bn loan fund for small and medium-sized businesses. The fund is to be deployed over the next three years.

Permanent TSB has already joined the State’s Brexit Impact Loan Scheme, planning to offer €32m in funding with individual loans worth between €25,000 and €1.5m, with rates starting at 3%.

Source: Irish Times

ProKidney to merge with SPAC, Social Capital Suvretta

Deal Details: ProKidney has announced plans to merge with Social Capital Suvretta and in doing so, become a publicly traded company.

ProKidney is a clinical-stage cellular therapeutics company focused on chronic kidney disease through innovations in cellular therapy, which was founded in 2015 after a decade of research.

The deal values the combined entity at a reported $2.64bn and the transaction is expected to close in Q3 2022. The combined entity will trade on the Nasdaq under the symbol ‘PROK’.

Advisers: Matheson provided legal advice to ProKidney with the team consisting of tax partner Gerry Thornton with fellow partners Fergus Bolster, George Brady, David Jones and Phil Tully, together with team members Raphael Clancy and Darren Quinn.

SourceCCPC

Exponent acquires stake in Xeinadin

Deal Details: Xeinadin, an accountancy advisory group made up of a network of 120 UK & Irish accountancy firms, last week announced Exponent, a UK private equity had acquired a stake in the business, subject to CCPC approval.

Xeinadin provides members with pooled resources, cost efficiencies, economies of scale and access to a network of specialist service providers. There are more than 20 Irish member shareholders including firms such as O’Connor Pyne, Somers Murphy & Earl, and O’Kelly Sutton.

Xeinadin reported revenue of £110m in May of 2020 and has previously expressed interest in a flotation.

SourceThe Sunday Times

Ergo completes acquisition of Asystec

Deal Details: The proposed acquisition of Asystec by Ergo for a reported €25m, which was announced earlier this month, has been approved by the CCPC.

Ergo was founded in 1993 by John Purdy and Tim Sheehy as a supplier of print components. The business has grown to one of Ireland’s largest IT services companies, and today it offers a wide range of enterprise services focused on driving productivity and profitability. From offices in Cork and Dublin, Ergo provides its services to businesses worldwide.

Asystec was founded in 2011 by Les Byrne. Today the business has offices across Ireland and North America, and serves clients all over the world. The business reported revenue of over €40m in the year ending January 2021 and employed nearly 50 people.

SourceCCPC press Release

Vermilion completes acquisition of Equinor’s Corrib gas field stake

Deal Details: The proposed acquisition of Equinor’s Corrib gas field stake by Vermilion, which was announced in December of 2021, has been approved by the CCPC.

The reported consideration is €434m, with Equinor and Vermilion agreeing to hedge some 70% of the production for 2022 and 2023. The parties have also agreed a contingent payment that will be paid on a portion of the revenue if European gas prices exceed a given floor level.

The Corrib field started production in 2015 and is located 83 kilometres off Ireland’s northwest coast. This deal sees Equinor putting an end to its activities in Ireland.

SourceCCPC Press Release

Company Performance

Food-Bridge Limited is a specialist in the importation, distribution and wholesaling of poultry meat. It serves the manufacturing, foodservice, wholesale and retail sectors. The company’s three shareholders are Edward, David and Sarah Gleeson. The company is based in Cork, Ireland.

In the financial year to June 2021, the business reported turnover of c. €167.4m, an increase of 21.5% YoY, which converted to an EBITDA of c. €9.7m, an increase of 46.6% YoY. The rise in EBITDA was partly enabled by  improved gross margins, up from 7.0% last year to 8.9% this year.

The business finished the year with a cash balance of c. €7.4m. A dividend of €7.0m paid during the year was one of the most significant uses of cash. The business employed an average of 18 people at an annual cost of €4.2m.

FOOD-BRIDGE FIGS

Collen Construction Limited is a leading international construction specialist delivering projects in Ireland, the UK and Europe. The company is majority owned by Neil and Pamela Collen.

In the financial year to March 2021, the business had turnover of c. €408.9m, an 11% increase YoY, which converted to an EBITDA of c. €10.4m, an increase of 28.7% YoY.

The business finished the year with a cash balance of €34.8m, an increase of c. €20.9m YoY. The business employed an average of 337 people at an annual cost of €29.6m.

COLLEN FIGD

Fundraisings

WhoSnapfix, a Dublin-based team communication and collaboration platform designed to help enterprises manage buildings, facilities and infrastructure. The SaaS business was founded in 2019 by current CEO, Paul McCarthy, who leads the business with CFO, Fergus McLoughlin.

What: The business has raised a reported €1.75m in funding in a round participated in by US-based Sator Grove Holdings and others.

Why: The funding is to be used to further develop the Snapfix platform and continue the business’ progress in Ireland, the UK and the US.

SourceRTE

Who: Exergyn, a Dublin-based start-up providing thermal management technology, has raised funding. Exergyn designs and develops shape memory alloys (SMA) which can be bolted on to existing energy systems and allows businesses to monitor and reduce their carbon footprint. The business was set up in 2012 by Alan Healy, Barry Cullen and Kevin O’Toole.

What: The company has raised $35m in a Series A funding round, led by Mercuria and Lacerta Partners.

Why: The funding will be used to enable Exergyn to bring its technology to market through partnerships with multinational corporations.

Source: Silicon Republic

Who: Cotter Agritech, ProvEye and Izario, three Irish AgTech start-ups, have been awarded funding.

Cotter Agritech is focused on dramatically reducing chemical use in agriculture. ProvEye analyses UAV and satellite imagery to obtain insights into the efficiency and sustainability of the agricultural industry. Izario has developed an autonomous robot that operates in broiler-breeder and commercial egg-laying hen barns.

What: The businesses have been named winners of the inaugural UCD accelerator programme dedicated to early-stage AgTech and FoodTech start-ups. Cotter Agritech and ProvEye will receive €10,000 each and Izario will receive €8k.

Why: The purpose of the accelerator program was to assist the corporate development of each business involved, which is what the funding will go toward.

SourceUCD Press Release

Who: RE-KKUR, a Fermanagh-based manufacturer of UPVC plaster beads for window and door edges, has raised funding.

What: The company has secured £575,000 in support from the Growth Loan Fund I & II, from Whiterock Finance, via Invest NI.

Why: The company plans to use the funding to target new markets, with an already established customer base in Ireland, the UK, and the Netherlands.

Source: Belfast Telegraph

WhoZiggyTec, a Dublin-based indoor air quality monitoring platform provider. The business was founded by Peter and Kieran Murphy in 2018. Clients to date include Irish Life, CBRE, Hines and many more.

What: The business has raised €2.5m from various investors which included John Purdy (ex Ergo), Michael Dawson (ex One4All), and Pa Nolan (ex Fexco).

Why: The funding is to be used to help the business scale internationally.

SourceIrish Times

WhoTrinity Biotech, an Irish-founded medical diagnostics company.

What: The company’s shareholders have agreed to refinance loan notes valued at $99.9m using a new $81.25m (€72m) loan facility. The deal has been agreed with New York-based hedge fund Perceptive Advisor, with the loan notes being refinanced at a rate of 11.25%.

Why: The refinancing will ease the company’s debt burden, reducing gross debt by $19m and offering the chance to repay the loan in part or in full, prior to the end of the four-year term.

Source: Irish Times

Who: Modmo, an Irish-founded e-bike maker with headquarters in Vietnam. The business was founded by Jack O’Sullivan who moved the business to Vietnam in 2019.

What: The business has raised a reported €5.0m from property developer Sean Mulryan of Ballymore. This brings total investment raised by the business over the past year to €8.7m.

Why: The funding is to be used to assist the business as it scales throughout Europe.

SourceIrish Times

Who: Halo Business Angel Network (HBAN), a joint initiative of Enterprise Ireland, InterTradeIreland and Invest Northern Ireland, launches the Impact Syndicate.

What: The Impact Syndicate is a €10m fund which will back firms that are seeking to make positive and measurable social and environmental change alongside financial returns.

Why: HBAN’s Impact Syndicate will help to drive ground-breaking ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) innovation across the island of Ireland by providing the funding and knowledge that socially-aware start-ups need to scale.

Source: RTE

Who: Salaso, a digital health solutions company serving hospital systems, healthcare providers, employers, and payers globally. The business has developed a digital platform for exercise programmes and wellness.

What: The business has raised funding from the Davy EIIS Fund which is managed by BES Management DAC, a joint venture between BDO and Davy.

Advisors: An LK Shields team, led by Emmet Scully and assisted by Kris O’Shea and Cian O’Lionaird, provided legal advice to BES Management DAC.

Why: The specific use of funds was not disclosed but it was noted that 20 new technology jobs would be created as a result.

Source: LK Shields

Who: Ahascragh Distillery, a producer of whiskey and gin situated in Ahascragh, County Galway. At present the business has 5 products on the market with 3 brands – Clan Colla Whiskey, Uais Whiskey and Xin Gin.

What: €1.5m was raised through a combination of the EIIS scheme and private investment.

Advisors: Conor Mullany (Managing Partner) and Niall Shanley (Associate) of Mullany Walsh Maxwells acted as legal advisers on the investment.

Why: The funding will be used to complete the development of its new eco-distillery and whiskey experience in the village of Ahascragh. The project is expected to be completed in 2022.

Source: MWMlegal.ie

Who: Marshmallow, a fintech start-up focused on providing digital pension solutions. The business was founded by Chief Executive, Ailish Dooley, CTO, Richard Skinner, and Daire O’Brien.

What: The business has raised c. €500,000 in pre-seed funding with plans to soon raise a further €3m later in 2022. Conor O’Neil, co-founder of Delta Index participated in the pre-seed round.

Why: The funding raised to date has been put toward developing the business’s digital capabilities.

Source: The Sunday Times

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.

Aidan Greene

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(Google Images & LinkedIn)

core
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Finbarr Griffin

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(Google Images & LinkedIn)

goodbody
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George Byron

gb

Source:
(Google Images & LinkedIn)

DELOITTE
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Tom Noonan

tn

Source:
(Google Images & LinkedIn)

pwc
tn bio

Jane O’Callaghan

joc

Source:
(Google Images & LinkedIn)

emerald airlines
joc bio

John Higgins

jh

Source:
(Google Images & Media)

emerald airlines
jh bio

Christopher Buckley

cb

Source:
(Google Images & Media)

emerald airlines
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Domhnal Slattery

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Source:
(Google Images & LinkedIn)

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@RenatusCapital Tweets

17%

The YoY increase in Ireland’s new start-ups amounting to 25,695 new companies in 2021, the highest figure on record. During the same period, the number of companies going under dropped by 6%. @CRIFVision-net @RTEbusiness

41.7%

The YoY increase in the new housing construction output in the State for 2021, amounting to almost 31K new residential unit builds started. This is the strongest level since 2007, according to Sherry Fitzgerald. @IrishTimes

81.9

The KBC Bank Ireland’s consumer sentiment index for January 2022, a 6-point jump from December’s reading of 74.9. @IrishTimes

0.5%

The YoY decrease in the new home completions for 2021 amounting to 20,433 new homes built. Single and scheme units decreased by 5.3% and 8.7% respectively, while apartment units increased by 30.3% @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

Current Portfolio:

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