03 Aug 2017

Investec acts as sole financial adviser to Bidvest in its €175m acquisition of Noonan

In a deal announced earlier this week, Bidvest agreed to acquire Noonan Services Group for €175m, following a decision earlier in the year by the shareholders of Noonan, Alchemy and Management, to seek new owners for the business.

Alchemy and Management acquired the business from the Noonan Family in 2008. Bidvest participated in the vendor sale process and emerged as the winning bidder following a number of weeks of exclusivity. Completion of the transaction is subject to South African Reserve Bank approval.

 

Bidvest is a services, trading and distribution company, which is listed on the JSE in South Africa (Market Cap c. ZAR 55 billion). It employs c. 113,000 people across its seven divisions (Automotive, Commercial Products, Electrical, Financial Services, Freight, Office & Print and Services), generating revenues of c. ZAR 70 billion.

 

"This is a very exciting and ground-breaking acquisition for Bidvest,” said the company’s chief executive, Lindsay Ralphs. “We have said that we intend pursuing a strategy of acquisitions that will provide geographic diversification for certain of our core businesses. This acquisition achieves that objective.”

 

Noonan provides strategic outsourced services, with a market leading position in the Irish market and growing presence in the UK. It employs over 13,000 people and achieved revenues of in the region of €320m in the year to December 2016. CEO of Noonan, John O'Donoghue said that Bidvest is committed to the long-term growth and development of Noonan. This will build on the significant growth the company achieved under Alchemy ownership which in addition to organic growth across new services and verticals resulted in multiple bolt-on acquisitions in both Ireland and the UK.

 

Jonathan Simmons, Director, Investec Corporate Finance said 'Few corporate transactions address all the strategic and other objectives of acquirers and vendors but the acquisition of Noonan by Bidvest was one where all material interests aligned. Investec is sponsor to Bidvest which is one of the largest listed South African Corporates and with leadership positions in those domestic markets in which it competes.

 

A key part of its strategy is to expand internationally through its Services Division. For many reasons, including culture, language, business and legal system, Ireland and the UK was a natural overseas market to execute on its international expansion, through acquisition, strategy. Many acquisition opportunities present themselves in such circumstances but acquiring a meaningful platform from which to further grow was a critical factor in homing in on the targets where criteria were checked and good fit existed as in the case of Noonan.

 

Noonan is the leading integrated facilities management business in the Irish market and with a growing presence in the sizable and very fragmented UK market. Its client base is blue chip by any measure and it’s breadth of services offering extensive. It is a strong point of entry for Bidvest and will act as a platform for further growth in its current offering as well as both new and enhanced service offering in existing and new geographic markets.

 

Investec is pleased to have advised Bidvest on the acquisition of Noonan having identified the strategic fit and rationale long before the owners of Noonan brought the business to market. Bidvest was very much a differentiated buyer for Noonan in comparison with other interest from the market. Investec is the only international investment banking and corporate finance player with an on-the-ground presence in the Irish market and who can offer a full product service, offering with capital markets, corporate broking, equity sales and research in addition to M&A and Debt Advisory. A differentiated offering and capability to corporate, owner managed and financial investor clients with an interest in the Irish market brought a differentiated outcome to our client Bidvest and to all Noonan stakeholders.'