Business Irish

Monday 23 October 2017

Alchemy has 59pc stake in Calyx bid

Joe Brennan

PRIVATE equity firm Alchemy Partners will take a 59.2pc stake in Calyx as backer of a £70.2m (€103.6m) management buyout of the publicly-quoted Irish IT services company.

The deal is being led by Calyx chief executive Maurice Healy. This marks his second MBO of the company, which was spun out of Alphyra, an electronic payments company he started with John Nagle in 1989, in 2002.

Calyx was listed on London's Alternative Investment Market (AIM) just over two years ago.

The 101p-a-share takeover is being carried by a special purpose vehicle called Stornaway.

It is being conducted by way of a so-called 'scheme of arrangements', which takes it through the courts and requires the approval of 75pc of shareholders at an extraordinary general meeting.

The deal will see Healy roll over his 27.8pc holding Calyx in exchange for a 30.8pc stake in the new company and £5.8m in cash.

Chief financial officer Peter Jenkins will own 4pc of the business, with executives Ger Coakley, Andy Mills and Jack Cunnane each receiving 2pc.

Anglo Irish Bank is providing £65.23m in senior debt and mezzanine finance to the buyout team.

The takeover marks British-based Alchemy's second involvement in and Irish transaction in the space of the space of a few weeks.

The private equity has also backed a €70m management buyout of fashion retailer A-Wear from Brown Thomas earlier this month.

Meanwhile, Calyx's former parent Alphyra is also going through change of control.

Alphyra's 67pc owner Benchmark Capital, a private equity firm, recently mandated corporate advisers Goldman Sachs and NCB Stockbrokers to find a buyer for its stake in the group.

Industry observers believe that it is likely that the holding will be bought by another private equity house. This type of transaction is known as a secondary buyout.

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