Our regular round-up of deals involving Irish law firms. Submit your deals to email@example.com.
Close Brothers acquires Bluestone Motor Finance
UK merchant banking group Close Brothers is to acquire Irish motor finance specialist Bluestone Motor Finance in a cash deal expected to complete in the fourth quarter of 2023.
Simmons & Simmons advised Close Brothers on the transaction, while McCann FitzGerald advised Bluestone Motor Finance.
Close Brothers has over a decade of experience in the Irish motor market, having helped over 130,000 customers finance vehicles. Bluestone, established in 2014, has successfully originated around €450 million of loans and developed a network of over 650 franchised and independent motor dealers supporting their end-to-end online offering.
As at 31 December 2022, Bluestone had loans under management of €132 million.
The cross-border Simmons & Simmons team was led by corporate partner David Brangam and digital business partner Alex Brown with assistance from corporate lawyers Christine Quigley and Geoff Curran and digital business lawyers Nick Mercer and Jananii Vanga.
Commenting on the deal, Mr Brangam said: “It has been a pleasure working with the team at Close Brothers on this exciting acquisition. The deal further showcases Simmons’ market leading capabilities when it comes to advising our financial services clients on cross-border M&A and commercial arrangements in regulated spaces.”
Verdane invests in clean energy company UrbanVolt
European specialist growth investor Verdane has acquired a majority interest in UrbanVolt, a European leader in clean energy.
Taylor Wessing advised Verdane on the transaction.
Founded in 2015, UrbanVolt is a clean energy market leader that offers B2B solar-as-a-service (SaaS) and lighting-as-a-service (LaaS) solutions to customers across a range of industries. UrbanVolt currently has operations in Ireland, the UK, continental Europe and the US.
The Taylor Wessing team was led by partner Adam Griffiths, of counsel Dannie Hanna and associate Ameer Gazder in the Dublin corporate team.
Further support was provided by partner Jonny Bethell and senior associate Alexandra Holden in the firm’s UK private equity team, and partners Emma Oakley and Emma Tait in the UK real estate team.
Mr Griffiths, who heads Taylor Wessing’s Dublin office, said: “It was a pleasure for Taylor Wessing to support Verdane on another successful transaction.
“Verdane’s investment is timely given the increased focus of European policy makers and legislators on increasing clean energy supply. As such, we look forward to continuing to work with Verdane as it builds upon its investment in UrbanVolt.”
Cosmetic surgery practice Avoca Clinic secures €7m investment
The Avoca Clinic has secured a €7 million equity investment from BGF to facilitate its continued growth and development across Ireland.
RDJ LLP advised the Avoca Clinic on the investment, while BGF was advised by Squire Patton Boggs.
Founded in 2012, the Avoca Clinic is managed by CEO Niamh Murdock and sales director Ailish Kelly, a mother and daughter team who, between them, have worked in the cosmetic surgery industry for 25 years.
Through the investment, BGF will take a significant minority position in the business. BGF investor Lauren Sharpe will join The Avoca Clinic’s board and Noel Daly will join as non-executive chair.
The RDJ transaction team included corporate and commercial lawyers Sean O’Reilly, Maria Walsh and Louise Buckley, real estate lawyer Margaret Ring, tax lawyer Mark Ludlow and employment lawyer Sinead Morgan.