MML Capital has strengthened its position in Ireland by investing in Lisburn-based global refrigeration rental company Lowe Refrigeration. As part of its investment, MML will take a 55% stake in the company, in partnership with the existing Lowe management team led by CEO Rodney Lowry.
Craig Holmes from HNH originated the deal and acted for the Company. Holmes stated “It is great to see another Northern Ireland company attract a quality Private Equity investor such as MML to help realise its growth ambitions. Lowe has a global blue-chip customer-base, which can be further enhanced following this investment. HNH are working with companies in different sectors to attract Private Equity for growth or realisation, and that bodes well for the Northern Ireland economy.”
Lowe Refrigeration is the world’s leading short term refrigeration rental company providing temporary cold solutions, in addition to hot equipment, to large food exhibitions, retailers, major sporting events and festivals internationally. The company services events such as the Singapore GP, Wimbledon, Glastonbury and the US Open Golf from nine locations throughout Europe, the USA, Middle East and Far East. The company has doubled in size since Rodney Lowry led the acquisition of the business from the founding Lowe family in 2008. Lowe Refrigeration expects to post revenue of circa €20 million for 2014.
Rodney Lowry stated: “We are delighted to receive this investment from MML. They rapidly grasped the future potential of the business and, importantly, the management team felt very comfortable working with them from the start of the process. MML has a strong track record of partnering with thriving businesses and supporting their growth ambitions. Therefore, I am very confident that we can now accelerate our development into new regions and new rental markets globally”.
The MML investment has been made through MML Growth Capital Partners Ireland, a €125 million fund dedicated to backing small and medium sized private businesses located on the island of Ireland.
Rory Quirke, who led the deal on behalf of MML commented; “We are delighted to be making our inaugural investment in Lowe. This represents an ideal transaction for us, backing a strong and ambitious team led by Rodney Lowry with the capital to continue to grow and build their business”.
MML Ireland’s Rory Quirke and Neil McGowan will both join the Lowe Refrigeration board, alongside Rodney Lowry and CFO Paul Lavery. The company is also pleased to appoint Mervyn McCall as Chairman of the board. Mervyn is a former director of the Mivan Group and the business will benefit from the experience and expertise Mervyn brings to the board.
Bank financing for the deal was provided by Bank of Ireland led by John Mathers in Belfast. Tughans acted as legal advisers to MML while Carson McDowell acted for Lowe Refrigeration.