Monday 23 April 2018

IPL Plastics plans a major European deal after raising $200m

Company formerly known as One51 to raise money in Canadian listing

IPL chief executive Alan Walsh
IPL chief executive Alan Walsh
Samantha McCaughren

Samantha McCaughren

IPL Plastics, the company formerly known as One51, is planning to use CA$200m (€126m) raised in a Canadian IPO for a major European acquisition, according to shareholder sources.

The company held acquisition talks with a number of European plastic companies last year but all negotiations are on hold during the IPO process.

It is understood the company could acquire European assets for well in excess of the sum raised.

The company entered the North American market through the majority purchase of Canadian packaging company IPL in 2015 and has gone on to acquire a number of businesses in that market.

While the company's focus has shifted towards North America - both through the listing and acquisitions - it is understood it plans to significantly build up the European operations in the short term.

It already has operations in both Ireland and the UK.

Shareholders in the Dublin-headquartered company, founded by businessman Philip Lynch in 2005, recently voted to change its name from One51 to IPL Plastics and change the company structures to pave the way for the IPO.

Some of the legacy Irish investors - the largest of which are several co-ops - are disappointed a sale to private equity did not go ahead.

An approach from CapVest, owned by Cavan businessman Seamus Fitzpatrick, did not go ahead but would have delivered a guaranteed exit for investors.

An IPO should provide liquidity for shareholders but Irish investors will still hold more than 40pc of the company and it is not clear how many are likely to find buyers in the near future and at what price.

However, under CEO Alan Walsh, the share price on the illiquid grey market has improved considerably.

The largest shareholder at present is Canadian fund manager Caisse de depot et placement du Quebec.

Together with Canadian government agency Fonds de solidarite, its combined stake in IPL Plastics is now at around 43pc.

The largest Irish shareholder is the Kerry Co-op, which owns close to 5pc of the business. Vevan, a vehicle linked to beef baron Larry Goodman, owns 4.4pc, while the next largest shareholders are Dairygold Co-op and Lakelands.

The Irish shareholders owned well over 50pc of the company but will see their stake diluted in the IPO as most are not expected to follow their money in the listing.

Sunday Indo Business

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