William Fry is pleased to have advised on nine award winning transactions in Finance Dublin’s Deals of the Year 2022. We had the pleasure of working with some fantastic clients on so many of the most significant and innovative Irish financial services transactions of the last 12 months.
Detail of the ‘Deals of the Year’ below.
CD&R Acquisition of UDG Healthcare plc
Mergers & Acquisitions , Public Equity
We were delighted to support CD&R, together with their UK and US legal teams at Clifford Chance and Debevoise & Plimpton, on this significant and complex transaction, which was the largest Irish public takeover in 2021. The acquisition is a key addition to CD&R’s healthcare portfolio, which enables it to create a unique set of global solutions for pharma and biotech clients across the life cycle of a drug. We are extremely pleased to have helped deliver this transaction for CD&R and to be involved in the continued growth and development of UDG.
Team: Myra Garrett, Ruairi Rynn, Lyn Brennan, Brian Butterwick
Bain Capital LP acquisition of Valeo Foods
William Fry was delighted to represent a consortium of private investors throughout the duration of their journey as shareholders in Valeo Foods, culminating in their exit as part of the wider sale of Valeo Foods to Bain Capital. The deal was estimated to be valued at around £1.5 billion and saw majority ownership transition from CapVest Partners to Bain Capital. Established in 2010 (but with brands dating back 150 years), Dublin-headquartered Valeo Foods is a producer and innovator of branded and private-label food products.
Team: Stephen Keogh
Green Bond (High Yield): Ardagh Metal Packaging
Debt Capital Markets
This was an interesting deal in that the proceeds of the Notes were used to provide a portion of the cash consideration payable to Ardagh Group S.A. in connection with the transfer of certain of its subsidiaries engaged in the metal beverage can business to the Ardagh BevCan Group (AMP Transfer) and to finance and/or refinance, in whole or in part, Eligible Green Projects in accordance with the Ardagh Group Green Financing Framework. The issuance and the complex internal group reorganisation to effect the AMP Transfer was completed within a very compressed timeframe and this transaction was one of the largest green bond issuances in 2021. The offering followed Ardagh’s business combination of its metal packaging business with Gores Holdings V Inc, (NASDAQ:GRSV, GRSVU and GRSVW), pursuant to a SPAC deal, with Ardagh’s AMP listing of its shares on the New York Stock Exchange, under the new ticker symbol “AMBP”.
Team: Elaine Hanly, Ted McGrath, Máire O’Neill, Ann Faherty
Green Bond (Investment Grade): Smurfit Kappa
We were delighted to advise Smurfit Kappa on its inaugural €1bn Green Bond to finance a portfolio of Eligible Green Projects in accordance with its green finance framework in order to support assets and expenditures associated with circular economy adapted products, production technologies and processes and certified eco-efficient products and environmentally sustainable management of living natural resources and land use. This was a hugely significant and important transaction for Smurfit, a leader in ESG compliant financing for its global business.
David Maughan, Mark Talbot, Myra Garett, Ruairi Rynn, Rachel Fox, Karl Collins and Jacqueline Taaffe
Development Financing Package: SIRO joint venture between Vodafone & ESB
Loans and Financing
We were delighted to advise SIRO on the multi-layered financing it obtained from a syndicate of Irish and international commercial banks and investors, together with funding from the European Investment Bank, to fund Phase 2 of its fibre broadband roll-out in Ireland. The financing will play an integral role in SIRO’s continued expansion of its high-speed broadband network which in turn will play a fundamental role in regional development in Ireland and is of ever increasing importance given the move towards remote and flexible working.
Team: Siobhan Carlin, Jarleth Heneghan, Ronan Shanahan
Mid Market: Michael Dixon International Transport Ltd
The investment by Erisbeg will bring additional financial capital and commercial expertise to the Dixon International Transport group, which is already one of the largest hauliers between Ireland and Europe. The partnership presents exciting opportunities for additional growth and expansion down the line.
Team: Lyn Brennan
Fenergo Group Ltds acquisition by Astorg and Bridgepoint
This deal, which saw Fenergo become Ireland’s third official Unicorn, demonstrated the strength and depth of our cross departmental transaction Tech M&A Team which was mobilised at short notice and worked seamlessly on a very compressed timeline to effect this transaction. Having worked with the Fenergo team since early in its funding life-cycle we were delighted to partner with them again on this exciting transaction which will help the business grow and scale even further.
Team: Myra Garrett, Stephen Keogh, Máire O’Neill
Davy Group Disposal
Domestic Capital Markets
Team: Bryan Bourke, Barbara Kenny, Elaine Morrissey
Aviation Finance Restructuring: Norwegian Air Irish Examinership
Financial Services: Aviation Finance
William Fry advised Kieran Wallace of KPMG as examiner of the Norwegian Air companies on the formulation and ultimate approval of the novel schemes of arrangement the secured the survival of the Norwegian Air group in 2021. The examinership schemes were some of the most complex and innovative examinership schemes deployed and ultimately approved by the Irish courts since the introduction of the examinership process in 1990 and we subject to implementation in Norway through a parallel Norwegian law process and recognition in the US. More detail on the case and its unique features are available here.
Team: Ruairi Rynn, Stephen Keogh