MML Ireland will substantially realise its position but is facilitating the MBO by rolling over a minority of its value in the business.
SONAS is the largest single supplier of bathroom products in Ireland, which has developed a model of asset light manufacturing of bathroom products which are distributed under its own brand. The company, which employs almost 90 full time staff has maintained a strong growth trajectory with current year trading on target to reach €45m sales.
The MBO is supported by Muzinich & Co, who provided a combination of debt and equity. In addition to funding the MBO, Muzinich has also provided a significant line of growth capital that can be used for both organic and acquisition led growth.
Commenting on the MBO, Richard Sloan, Managing Director of SONAS, said:
“This deal reflects management’s ambition and the belief we have in the SONAS brand. We’re delighted to receive the backing and support of Muzinich & Co, led by Howard Mahon. Since joining the business back in 2003 I have witnessed so much growth and development within SONAS which can be attributed to the efforts of my colleagues both past and present who have made the company what it is today. Working with MML Ireland since 2017 has been a positive experience for SONAS management as their investment approach fully supported our brand development and growth strategy.”
Howard Mahon, Director, Pan-European Private Debt with Muzinich, said:
“SONAS is a market leading brand providing high quality products and excellent customer service. We have been impressed by the high calibre of the senior management team of Richard, Darren and Ger, who together deliver operational and logistical excellence, resulting in a top rate customer experience. We look forward to working with the management team and the wider business as they enter an exciting new phase of growth. At Muzinich we have a very positive view on the macro environment in which SONAS operates, and expect to see strong organic growth, coupled with the potential for expansion and acquisitions in the future.”
MML Ireland invested in SONAS in December 2017, acquiring a minority stake and funding the Company’s growth strategy.
Neil McGowan, Partner and Co-head of Investments with MML Ireland, commented:
“It has been a pleasure investing and working alongside such a strong team to develop SONAS Bathrooms into one of the best-known brands in the industry. We were initially attracted to the business’s market leading position in a rapidly expanding sector of residential development and bathroom improvement. Since the time of our investment, the business has continued to grow and maintain its focus on customer service and new product development. The acquisition of SONAS by the management team, now led by Richard and joined by Darren Tierney and Ger Fahy, is a natural progression and a template for the type of investing which MML Ireland has been pioneering in the Irish market since our fund was established in 2013.”
Dermot Usher said:
“This deal is a significant milestone in the company’s history and I feel extremely proud to see the management team take the business forward to the next phase in its journey. I am delighted to be taking a non-executive role on the board but formally end my tenure as CEO of the company. I wish the leadership team and each of my colleagues in SONAS continued success into the future.”