|Natural World Products (NWP), the largest recycler of household organic waste in Ireland, has secured an investment of £20 million (€23.4 million) from MML Growth Capital Partners Ireland (MML) and asset manager 57 Stars.
The deal makes MML the largest single equity holder in the Northern Ireland-based company. It represents a significant investment in the business alongside the current management team led by chief executive Colm Warren.
As part of the deal, all of the existing shareholders - apart from Mr Warren - will exit the business.
NWP manages more than 250,000 tonnes of organics annually across Ireland, producing peat-free organic compost with “significant benefits” for soil health and carbon sequestration.
The business supplies compost to a wide range of local community and voluntary projects as well as to customers such as hobby gardeners, landscapers and farmers, through to Hillsborough Castle and Gardens and Royal Portrush Golf Club.
The business employs 55 staff across four facilities in Northern Ireland.
The MML investment is led by members of its Ireland team, including Neil McGowan, Shane Cooke, Chris Walsh and Muireann MacAuliffe. It will be made from a €145 million growth fund backed by British Business Investments, AIB and a number of international institutional investors. The fund is dedicated to backing small and medium sized businesses on the island of Ireland.
“Building on the platform created by the vision of Brendan Woods and his family, we have achieved an awful lot in the last few years at NWP despite often challenging circumstances but, in reality, we are only getting started,” said Mr Warren.
“We are delighted to have both MML, 57 Stars, and HSBC as supportive partners, backing our ambition for the business and helping to take NWP into its next cycle of development and evolution.”
Mr McGowan, MML co-head of investments, said the company was “an outstanding example of the circular economy in action”.
“It helps divert organic waste away from landfill with all the carbon-saving benefits that entails but is also a key ingredient in helping to return organic matter to heavily farmed soils and offering alternatives to peat-based growing media in horticulture,” he said.
Bernard C McGuire Jr, a managing director at 57 Stars, said: “NWP is a very important component of the local economy, effectively a partner with numerous local municipalities processing and recycling local organic waste into organic compost. It does this as a technological leader, not just in Ireland, but across the United Kingdom as well.”
The investment was supported by bank financing provided by HSBC. EY advised the shareholders of NWP. Tughans acted as legal advisers to MML while Mills Selig acted for NWP shareholders.
Shareholder agreements were facilitated by Crescent Capital. HNH provided financial and tax due diligence and Roland Berger provided commercial due diligence.
Source – The Irish Times