2022 saw a cooling in Mergers and Acquisitions (M&A) activity in Ireland, which was no real surprise after the surge in M&A activity in the previous 12 months.
M&A activity returned to prepandemic activity levels with a total of 122 deals worth €6.4bn announced in the first six months of 2022, a decline of 14% from the same period in 2021. Private equity firms remained active players in the Irish market, securing seven of the top 20 deals by the end of this period. Activity remained strong in the mid-market segment (€5m - €250m), the mainstay of the Irish M&A market, with 84% of deals in Q1 & Q2.
Our M&A practice experienced a very successful 2022 and here are some of our highlighted deals -
- We began the year by advising H&MV Engineering Limited, our long- standing client through an investment by Exponent Private Equity LLP in the company. Exponent became a majority stakeholder in H&MV with re-investment from PJ Flanagan, CEO, John Stokes, COO and the management team. This investment saw private shareholders led by MacX3 Services Limited successfully exit the company after supporting a secondary MBO of H&MV in 2018.
- The trend of large brokers acquiring independent insurance brokers continued throughout 2022. We advised the sellers of Limerick headquartered general insurance brokers, Sullivans Insurances in the sale of the business to the international insurance firm PIB Group, the groups sixth retail investment in Ireland.
- Austrian headquartered private cheese company, Rupp AG acquired Ingredient Solutions and we advised the Ingredient Solutions team throughout the deal. Ingredient Solutions is an Irish cheese ingredient company with operations in both Ireland and the UK.
- We advised the shareholders of South Coast Diesels in the sale of their company to Deutz AG. South Coast Diesels specialise in the engine after sales support industry. The company covers all applications including rail, power generation, construction and underground mining. Deutz AG, is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of drive systems for off-highway applications.
- Over the summer, we advised ComfortDelGro Irish Citylink Limited through their acquisition of Evobus and Coach Limited which operates the GoBus coach service. Citylink is one of the largest coach operators in Ireland and the UK. It has operated in Ireland since 1991 and currently has a fleet of 33 buses nationwide. GoBus is an inter-city coach service with a fleet of 31 buses. This acquisition makes Citylink Ireland’s third largest inter-city coach operator. The final quarter of the year has been busy with a number of deals lined up to close.
- We advised Foxes Bow Whiskey on their successful fundraising round with Crowdcube and private investors, which raised more than €640,000.
- We acted for Calx Instrumentation Services Limited in the company’s acquisition by Ellab A/S. Calx is an Irish field calibration company based in County Dublin. This is Ellab’s 4th acquisition in Ireland, who provide world-leading validation, monitoring and calibration solutions and services, as well as GMP consulting, to life science and food manufacturing companies across the globe.
- We acted for Stride on their investment round demonstrating the great growth potential for this exciting company. Stride is a new syndicate technology platform offering shares in elite-level racehorses.
- We advised Complete Laboratory Solutions, when Phenna Group became a significant shareholder in the business. Established in 1994 in Galway, CLS is the largest privately owned contract laboratory in Ireland, providing microbiological and chemical testing services. The company also provides trained industry-ready laboratory analysts to clients on a contract basis.
How Holmes can help your Business
Our experienced and dedicated M&A lawyers are supported by industry-leading specialists in tax, employment, environment, competition, intellectual property, information technology, regulation, insurance, commercial property, banking and capital markets. This multi-disciplinary collaborative approach allows us to provide a holistic service and to advise on many of the most challenging, high-profile and significant M&A transactions that take place in Ireland.
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