Saturday 21 September 2019

Odlums and Mater Private owner launches bid for One51

Alan Walsh, CEO of One51
Alan Walsh, CEO of One51
Donal O'Donovan

Donal O'Donovan

One51 has confirmed that its board has received a takeover approach that values the business at around €500m.

The bid from CapVest Partners at €2.50 a share gives shareholders a potential exit regardless of whether a planned stock market listing goes ahead next year.

The offer must now be considered by the One51 board who will make a recommendation, but with a valuation understood to be around the same level as analysts had expected a flotation to price and with greater certainty for shareholders, the acquisition offer may well prove compelling.

CapVest, which is run by Irish businessman Seamus Fitzpatrick, is a London-headquartered private equity firm that invests in mid-market companies.

Its Irish investments include stakes in the Mater Private Hospital in Dublin and Valeo Foods, which produces brands including Jacobs, Odlums and Kelkin.

Talks with One51 are understood to not yet be on an exclusive basis, leaving the door open to rival approaches as well as the IPO. Shareholders were advised by the One51 board to take no action at this time.

"The approach is preliminary in nature and is subject to various pre-conditions, including due diligence and financing, and there can be no certainty that an offer will ultimately be forthcoming or as to the terms of any offer," the company said in a statement.

Selling to CapVest would end a scheme already under way for One51's big Canadian shareholders to lift their direct stake in the business to around 40pc in a series of moves aimed at clearing the way for a stock market listing in Toronto and Dublin.

Dublin-based One51's main business is now a two-thirds stake in North American plastics manufacturer IPL, the balance of which is owned by Canadian investors Caisse de Dupot et Placement du Quebec (CDPQ) and Canadian government agency Fonds de Solidarite.

The IPO plan would see the Canadians take a stake in One51 itself in exchange for their 33pc of IPL.

One51, whose chief executive is Alan Walsh, has around 2000 shareholders, many of whom have held stock since it was spun out of IAWS in 2005.

Irish Independent

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