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Irish certification firm sold for €6m to UK group

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Done deal: Dawn Walsh, Kernel Capital, and Michael Brophy, CEO Certification Europe. Photo: Bryan Brophy

Done deal: Dawn Walsh, Kernel Capital, and Michael Brophy, CEO Certification Europe. Photo: Bryan Brophy

Done deal: Dawn Walsh, Kernel Capital, and Michael Brophy, CEO Certification Europe. Photo: Bryan Brophy

An Irish certification and training firm backed by the Bank of Ireland, Enterprise Ireland and two Irish universities has been sold for €6m to a UK company.

Certification Europe - a firm based in Park West Business Park in Dublin with satellite offices in the UK, Japan and Italy - is becoming part of the Amtivo Group.

Amtivo's portfolio of firms includes the British Assessment Bureau, myActiv and Equas Consulting. It is based in West Malling, Kent.

While terms of the sale were not publicly disclosed, Amtivo is understood to have paid about €6m to acquire Certification Europe.

The Bank of Ireland, Enterprise Ireland, the University of Limerick Foundation and the Galway University Foundation shared in the proceeds in what Kernel Capital called "a significant multiple return".

Founded in 1999, Certification Europe had been a portfolio company of the Bank of Ireland Kernel Capital Fund since 2014.

"Kernel Capital has supported us in building a market-leading ISO (international organisation of standardisation) certification, training and inspection business," said Michael Brophy, chief executive of Certification Europe.

"From our base in Dublin we will bring to Amtivo access to several core markets, plus genuine leadership, skill set and knowledge in the key area of IT and data security," he said.

"We look forward to combining this with Amtivo's unique go-to-market approach and technology, which will help us provide an even better and wider variety of services to our customers and provide us with an innovative and market-leading approach to swiftly scaling our international operations."

Amtivo Group was founded in 2017 with the financial backing of London investment firm August Equity, which takes stakes in small and medium-sized businesses providing professional services.

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Like Certification Europe, Amtivo provides a wide range of services, chiefly to SMEs.

These include standards certification, engaging and developing employees, monitoring legal requirements, data protection, improving financial performance, managing risk, and optimising resources.


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