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M&A activity proved very resilient through the back end of 2020 and into the early part of 2021. This marked a remarkable recovery in the third quarter of 2020, after a dip in the early part of the year, due to the Covid-19 pandemic and uncertainty caused by Brexit. The majority of deals completed were in the small to mid-market category (deal values ranging from €1m to €50m), with some sectors leading the way – including energy, medtech, data centres and IT Services. In the last year, we were delighted to lead transactions in these sectors.

Last summer we worked with our client Ardmac on their strategic investment in Cental, a leading and fast-growth provider of advanced modular infrastructure. With Cental and Ardmac’s combined expertise and resources, this investment will enhance their combined capabilities in offsite modular solutions in the Data Centre, Pharmaceutical, Healthcare and Advanced Manufacturing sectors.

BGF is Ireland’s largest growth capital investor and in October 2020, we advised them on a multi-million euro investment in Croom Precision Medical. BGF in Ireland is supported by the Ireland Strategic Investment Fund (ISIF) and the main Irish banks. This was BGF’s third investment completed in an Irish business since June 2020 and the sixth investment completed in less than two years. BGF takes minority positions in the businesses in which they invest; aiming to support and facilitate the growth plans of existing owners. Croom Precision Medical, based in Croom, Limerick, is a precision engineering business which specialises in designing and manufacturing precision components for the medical device industry.

In the third quarter of 2020 we acted for Amarenco Solar Limited, a major global solar power producer and leader in sustainability on a €150 million new capital raise.

To close out a good year, in December we advised the shareholders of IT Force Limited, a provider of IT cloud support, managed IT services and managed IT security services on the sale of the company to Unity Technologies I.T Limited, a leading provider of IT cloud managed services. The experience and breadth of services of the two businesses will enable the combined entity to further service the needs of their expanding client base of over 600 companies across IT cloud and managed services, professional services and IT security.

As mentioned above, 2021 started well for us, lead by Cardinal Capital Groups equity investment in Luzern eCommerce Ltd. We advised Luzern, a leading platform and services provider to global brands. Having increased annual sales by 60pc over each of the past three years, Luzern is one of Ireland’s fastest-growing technology companies, executing millions of transactions every year for some of the world’s largest brands. Luzern’s growth accelerated in the past 12 months as large numbers of consumers moved online as a result of retail restrictions globally. Cardinal Capital is one of Ireland’s most active private equity investors.

If you would like to find out more about these deals and our M&A practice, please contact George Kennedy, Corporate and Commercial.

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