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Flynn O’Driscoll Wins Two Awards in The Finance Dublin Deals of the Year Awards 2020

12 June, 2020

• Flynn O’Driscoll has won two Deals of the Year Awards 2020, awarded by Finance Dublin

• Flynn O’Driscoll’s wins arise from its work on major deals in the corporate sector

David Ryan, Corporate & Commercial Partner, Flynn O’Driscoll, said:

“Delighted for all of the hardworking team at FOD to be nominated and win two well-earned Finance Dublin awards M&A Agrifood Deal of the Year and M&A Mid-Market Deal of the Year both of which underline the strengths of FOD on the M&A side both in the Mid-Market and the Agrifood sector. Our corporate and commercial teams led by Pat Flynn, Gavin Lawlor, Alan O’Driscoll, Laura Myles and myself and ably assisted by rising stars in our corporate Senior Associate ranks Cian O’Leary, John Troute, Diann Cannon and Declan Cunningham continue to push forward with solutions for our corporate and commercial clients. Thanks also to Grace Connolly, Áine Moloney, Karen McGrory, Cian Mannion and Alastair Baird (amongst others) who assisted on these particular winning deals.”

The winning deals in relation to which Flynn O’Driscoll advised are:

Mergers & Acquisitions: Mid-Market


Acquisition of joint control of Carducci Holdings Designated Activity Company (“Carducci”), the parent company of the waste management business, The City Bin Co Unlimited Company (“TCBC”), by the global alternative asset manager CCIF Salero S.à r.l. (“CCI”), a member of The Carlyle Group L.P (“CG”)

The City Bin Co. is a long standing client of Flynn O’Driscoll’s from 2002 and we have enjoyed watching its evolution into one of Ireland’s premier customer service driven companies. There are examples of how the City Bin Co. does business, particularly in the area of customer care, that we can all incorporate into our own businesses” highlighted David Ryan, Corporate Partner with Flynn O’Driscoll. “The transaction was implemented so as to dovetail into the City Bin Co.’s debt financing which had been arranged by Muzinich which was a first for Muzinich in the Irish market. The most satisfying part from a client relationship perspective is that the pre-acquisition management continues to lead the operations at the City Bin Co.  following the transaction (with the addition of CCI’s direction and support for the business). The transaction allowed the management team to crystallise some of the value that they had created over the years and to bring on-board well capitalised investors. The structure of the transaction was unique from a financing and corporate perspective and allowed us all to break some new ground in terms of shaping a sustainable and collaborative debt and equity solution”.

Carlyle Cardinal Ireland, the private equity fund established by The Carlyle Group (NASDAQ: CG) and Cardinal Capital Group, agreed to make the investment in The City Bin Co., an award winning waste management company on the basis of its commitment to supporting growing Irish companies of which TCBC is one. CCI acquired joint control of Carducci and its waste management business through a unique combination of share subscription investment from CG, certain management and individual shareholders. The acquisition represented the 11th investment by CG since 2014. Co-founded by the incumbent chief executive Gene Browne in 1997, The City Bin Co. operates waste management services in Dublin and Galway city, serving over 80,000 households and commercial customers, and employs over 100 people. The introduction of CCI to The City Bin CO. corporate structure represents a growing international interest in the evolving waste market in Ireland.

At the time of the completion of the Transaction:-

Gene Browne, the CEO, The City Bin Co., said: “The City Bin Co. has grown consistently in a very competitive market through our customer-focused business model. This approach has served us very well and truly differentiated the company. We’re delighted to partner with a fund of the pedigree, experience, and resources of CCI as we prepare for our next stage of growth. Our focus will remain on setting the standard for customer service across the waste management industry and delivering exceptional value for money to our business and household clients”.

Esmond Greene, Director, The Carlyle Group, said: “The City Bin Co. investment is CCI’s eleventh in the Irish market and we are delighted to partner with a business which has an unrivaled reputation for customer service, strong brand recognition and an experienced management team that has overseen a doubling in size of the business over the past 5 years. The fragmented waste management services market provides a significant opportunity to service growing household and business demand for professional waste management services through continued investment and via acquisitions, and we look forward to supporting the company’s continued expansion and to growing the 80,000+ customer base”.

Ian Daly, the Director, Cardinal Capital Group, said: “Managing waste is a critical part of any household or commercial customer’s budget and The City Bin Co.’s service and technology proposition enables it to employ the most effective and sustainable methods in processing more than 100,000 tonnes of black, green and brown waste every year. The Irish waste market is continually evolving and CCI’s focus is always to grow the companies it invests in. We and management have a collective ambition to double the size of the business over the next 5 – 6 years through a combination of organic and acquisitive growth.”

Mergers & Acquisitions: Agrifood


Acquisition of Green Isle Brands Limited, the Green Isle and Donegal Catch food manufacturing and exporting business, by Blue Giant Limited

Supported by the Ireland Strategic Investment Fund (“ISIF”), a group of private investors led by Maurice Hickey, (the “Investor Group”) acquired the Green Isle and Donegal Catch manufacturing business from the 2 Sisters Food Group, one of the largest food manufacturing businesses in the UK (the “Transaction”). The acquisition facilitated plans to combine the two brands operating under Green Isle Foods and further develop the Green Isle and Donegal Catch brands. The acquisition also supported the retention and creation of over one hundred jobs in Co. Sligo and Co. Kildare.

Commenting on the Transaction, David Ryan the corporate partner at Flynn O’Driscoll who ran the deal said:- “The financing of the transaction involved a unique mix of public and private investment monies along with traditional pillar bank debt bringing together financing parties who had previously never worked together into a highly flexible structure leaving capacity for further investment, capital expenditure and exciting growth opportunities. The transaction also navigated the need for public rigour with balanced risk appetite. The transaction structure also unlocked indigenous investment into a household Irish brand fitting with ISIF’s mandate”.

“What we at Flynn O’Driscoll enjoyed most about this transaction was the process of knitting together all of the very different parties to the deal and satisfying their various requirements and meeting their investment criteria whilst at the same time co-ordinating pillar bank finance and negotiating hard with a very experienced seller. It really tested our team and our capabilities and developed further our big deal experience for future deals. It really underlined our ability to pull deals over the line which is a skill in itself and one which fits with the Flynn O’Driscoll mantra of “solutions not problems”.

The Ireland Strategic Investment Fund (ISIF) backed the acquisition of the Green Isle and Donegal Catch food manufacturing and export businesses along with a group led by the former Chief Executive of Largo Foods (Tayto), Maurice Hickey. The combined businesses now operate under the Green Isle Foods banner and have already grown and developed the Green Isle and Donegal Catch brands. ISIF was the single biggest investor while other investors include Mr Hickey, Ray Coyle, a highly regarded Irish entrepreneur and former founder of Largo Foods, and a number of other private investors. The transaction was also supported with bank debt provided by Ulster Bank.

The investor group maintain their position that there is a significant opportunity to grow this leading indigenous, Irish food manufacturing business into the future, in both the frozen food and other growth segments of the food market. ISIF’s backing for the acquisition reflects its commitment to investing in regional development and supporting indigenous Irish businesses, two of the five key priorities contained in ISIF’s refocused investment strategy.


Commenting on the acquisition at the time Mr Hickey said:
“We are very excited about the opportunity presented by the Green Isle Foods business. It comprises quality brands with excellent market positions and offers a strong platform for growth. The investor group comprises highly experienced business people and investors who have a strong appetite and commitment to the growth and development of Irish businesses.”

ISIF Senior Investment Director – Food and Agriculture, Cathal Fitzgerald said at the time:


“This is an example of ISIF’s commitment to investing in regional businesses, a key feature of our refocused investment strategy. We are pleased to support a business that generates significant economic activity and employment in Sligo and Kildare and we look forward to helping Green Isle grow its export base and target new European markets”.

Liam Booth and Eoin Kennedy of Investec Corporate Finance advised the investor consortium on the acquisition of Green Isle Foods. Eoin Kennedy at the time said “The transaction was complex, involving the carve-out of the businesses from 2 Sisters Food Group. In addition to buy-side advice, the advisory team supported the acquisition finance raise for the transaction from Ulster Bank and investors, including a significant minority investment from the ISIF.