Multi-disciplinary advisory firm HNH Group has recorded the strongest year to date in its corporate finance department by completing 14 deals in 2016.
The independent Belfast-based company works with the directors and shareholders of entrepreneurial companies throughout Northern Ireland, Ireland and the UK providing expertise in corporate finance, business restructuring, forensic accounting, human capital and digital strategy.
In 2016 the corporate finance team advised on three acquisitions, two company sales, three management buy outs, two refinancing agreements and four growth capital backings.
The work included acting for Independent News & Media plc (Belfast Telegraph) on the acquisition of numerous titles from Greer Publications, including Ulster Business magazine.
HNH were particularly active in the healthcare sector, guiding the sale of Northern MRI to Affidea, a Dublin-based healthcare business. HNH also advised Keys Healthcare on a range of corporate activities during 2016 and Your Doctor Medical Services on the acquisition of clinics in the Republic of Ireland.
The company was instrumental in securing growth funding for a number of local companies, including Tascomi and Saliis. Funding was secured from the Growth Loan Fund to support renewable energy services provider Saliis in its rapid expansion plans. The funds will create up to 15 new jobs and enable Saliis to target overseas growth.
The momentum from 2016 has continued into 2017, with the advisory firm completing investment deals for Click Energy in Derry and PE Services in Cavan already this year.
Craig Holmes, managing director of HNH Group, said: “Last year was a very strong year for us, with our position in the market boosted by a steady upturn of the market for M&A and healthy levels of fundraising activity. It is encouraging to see different types of transactions taking place and activity spanning industries as diverse as engineering, healthcare, technology and hospitality, not to mention a range of active companies including PLCs, privately owned large companies and early stage businesses.
HNH’s growth in recent years is also down to the holistic approach we take with our clients, helping growing companies not only with their finance options, but also with essential services including identifying the right people for their workforce and helping them establish the right digital presence
HNH’s corporate finance team has consistently been at the top end of the Experian Northern Ireland deals data, and the firm retained the Insider NI Corporate Finance Firm of the Year in 2017, the fifth time it has won this award in the six years of HNH’s existence.
Commenting on the wider market Mr Holmes added: “In the local economy it is positive to see that banks are lending again and prepared to work alongside other funders. To date our business hasn’t felt any negative effects from macro-economic factors. In fact, a shift in exchange rates has made conditions favourable for Irish companies who wish to purchase UK based businesses and in turn UK companies are also identifying opportunities in Ireland to set up a Euro presence before the UK exit from the EU. We anticipate that these trends will continue throughout 2017.”
Wayne Horwood, managing director of HNH Group, said: “As a young organisation we are delighted that our dynamic client base is growing in Northern Ireland and beyond. We are seeing a wide range of transactions which gives our business an exciting pipeline for the coming months and years ahead. We anticipate that there will be further recruitment in 2017 to respond to the increasing demand levels.”