The return of the Irish market
Following several years of economic contraction, Ireland is currently Europe’s fastest growing economy with GDP growth of 5.9% in 2015. Importantly, this increase in economic activity has had a tangible positive impact on the unemployment rate, which has fallen below 10% to 9.3% for the first time since Q1 2009. There has been significant improvements across all key sectors in the Irish economy, in particular the industrial sector has been one of the main drivers of the recovery with annual growth in the sector of 18.5%. Export growth driven by a weaker euro has benefitted Irish manufacturers exporting outside of the Eurozone.
The renewed buoyancy in the market has led to a significant increase in M&A activity and the deployment of domestic and international private equity funding in the Irish market. The latest deal completed by the recently merged Irish team is the perfect example of the growth opportunities these PE funds are seeking to capitalise on.
Clearwater International advises on the MBO of H&MV Engineering
MML Growth Capital Partners Ireland has invested in H&MV Engineering (‘H&MV’), a leading electrical engineering services business. Clearwater International advised the shareholders and executive management of H&MV on the transaction.
H&MV was established in 1997 and is now among the leading specialist high voltage electrical contracting and consulting companies in Ireland, with an increasing level of activity in overseas markets. It provides specialist services to a range of clients for design, installation, commissioning and maintenance of transmission and distribution networks with a particular focus on the data centre and renewables sectors.
The deal sees MML back the existing management team, led by PJ Flanagan and John Stokes. The MML investment was made through MML Growth Capital Partners Ireland, a fund dedicated to backing private businesses located on the island of Ireland. H&MV will use the recent investment to expand domestically and internationally.
Rory Quirke, MML, commented: “H&MV has developed a strong reputation in an attractive and growing market. We are delighted to have partnered with the H&MV management team and look forward to supporting their continuing ambition. H&MV represents the ideal type of opportunity and business for MML’s Ireland focussed fund to back.”
PJ Flanagan, H&MV, stated: “We are delighted to receive this investment from MML. It is a validation of both the development of the business from inception to date and the future plans to capitalise on the progress that has already been achieved. We have ambitions to further develop our business in Ireland and to continue its expansion into markets across Europe. We feel MML, with its experience of working with ambitious and growth focussed management teams, is the perfect partner for the next stage of our journey. This investment will give H&MV the additional financial strength to expand in its target markets.”
John Curtin, Partner, Clearwater International, added: “We are pleased to achieve a strong result for the H&MV shareholders and management team. MML is the ideal partner, with their track record of supporting management teams scale and shape their businesses. H&MV is now in an excellent position for continued growth and we wish the management team and MML every success in the future.”