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  • Publish Date: Posted over 2 years ago
  • Author:by VANRATH

Insider held their annual Northern Ireland Dealmakers Awards 2022, last night to celebrate the achievements of the region's professional corporate finance community.

The popular Awards Dinner took place at the Europa Hotel, in what was a fantastic night.

Check out the winners below:

Rhona Barbour of Whiterock Finance was named Dealmaker of the Year atInsider'sNorthern Ireland Dealmakers Awards last night, which celebrated the major transactions and professionals who are enabling a whole host of mergers and acquisitions. Held at the Europa Hotel, the event was sponsored by ABL Group, Danske Bank, Davy Private Clients UK, Honeycomb Jobs, HSBC UK and Tughans. Tilney Smith Williamson sponsored the networking booklets and Shoosmiths sponsored the drinks reception.

Corporate Finance Advisory Firm of the Year
Sponsored by:Tughans
Winner:Grant Thornton (NI) LLP
The GT team had an exceptionally strong year, with fee income at double 2020 levels. Two stand-out transactions were the acquisition of Dolyns by Bloc Blinds and the sale of Fluent Technology to Valsoft. The judges were not only impressed with the firm's growth but also on its complete focus on adding genuine value to its clients.
HCA Corporate Finance
Radius CF
Beltrae Partners

Bank-funded Deal of the Year
Winner:Growth funding for Hughes Mushroom Group (HSBC UK, Maneely Mc Cann, CBRE, DWF, Shoosmiths)
HSBC UK provided significant investment to Hughes Mushrooms Group to facilitate continued growth, supporting increased production, automation and efficiency to improve the sustainability of the business. The judges felt that, as a significant employer in Northern Ireland, the additional jobs the investment will bring for HMG is a huge boost for the local workforce.
Refinance of banking facilities for Clanmill Housing Association
(Danske Bank, TLT Solicitors, Elliott Duffy Garrett Solicitors, Savills Financial Consultants)
Funding for factory build for Finnebrogue Vegetarian Company
(Danske Bank, A&L Goodbody, Carson McDowell LLP, Lisney, Johnston Houston, Ulster Bank)
Management-backed acquisition of Natural World Products by MML Growth Capital Partners Ireland
(HSBC UK, EY, Tughans, Mills Selig, HNH, Roland Berger, Pinsent Masons)

Transaction Services Team of the Year
The EY Transaction Diligence team supports a wide range of Northern Ireland clients on market leading transactions. The team has grown in size and in fees and the judges were impressed with how the team has delivered significant growth in the volume and value of transactions that it has supported to its expanding client base.
PKF-FPM Accountants
Grant Thornton (NI) LLP

Private Equity/Venture Capital Deal of the Year
Winner:Buyout of investors and investment in Selazar by a global private equity firm (Clarendon Fund Managers, HCA Corporate Finance, Foresight Group, Tughans, Browne Jacobson, PwC Dublin, Co-Fund NI)
The investment allowed Selazar, which develops enterprise software to manage online orders, to rapidly increase the workforce in Northern Ireland, as well as expanding its operations overseas. The judges were impressed with the ambition of a young Northern Irish entrepreneur who went from seed funding to multimillion-pound investment from a global asset manager.
Investment in AquaQ Analytics by Sovereign Capital Partners
(Deloitte, Carson McDowell, EY, DWF)
Investment in B-Secur by First Capital Ventures
(Clarendon Fund Managers, Kernel Capital, Wharton Asset Management, Accelerated Digital Ventures, Tughans, Wilson Sonsini)
Investment in Eolas Medical by Samaipata II Capital, FCR and MNL (Ascension)
(Davidson McDonnell, Carson McDowell, Harper James Solicitors)
Acquisition of Natural World Products by a Newco funded by MML Growth Capital Partners, 57 Stars and the NWP management
(EY, Mills Selig, HNH, Tughans)
Investment in Datactics by Par Equity, Kernel Capital, Invest NI and others
(Tughans, A&L Goodbody, TLT LLP)

Corporate Law Firm of the Year
Sponsored by:HSBC UK
Winner:Mills Selig
The Mills Selig corporate team acted on more than 50 M&A transactions during the qualifying period – two notable deals being the acquisition of Neueda by Version 1 Software and the investment in Hospital Services Group by Foresight Group. The judges felt that the doubling in deal volume and deal value made it the outstanding law firm this year.
Davidson McDonnell

Emerging Dealmaker of the Year
Sponsored by:ABL Group
Winner:Emma-Louise Gilroy, Keenan CF
Emma-Louise has had an exceptional year, being instrumental in the completions of the sale of Newry Veterinary to Vet Partners and the sale of MOL Tools & Abrasives to United Tooling. The judges felt that Emma-Louise deserved the award with her ability not only to initiate and execute deals but also by her skill at engaging with the wider corporate finance community.
Graeme McKinstry, Foresight Group
Darren Marley, Mills Selig
Chris Trotter, Clarendon Fund Managers

Deal of the Year (below £2.5m)
Winner:Investment in Cattle Eye by Techstart Ventures, Seventure Partners and Turntide Technologies (Tughans, Keystone Law)
The investment will be used to bring to market CattleEye's autonomous livestock welfare and performance monitoring product. The significance in not only increasing the company's productivity and animal welfare but also in decreasing the carbon footprint of millions of cows across the globe, made this the stand-out deal according to the judges.
Sale of IF R&D Tax Credits to ABGI
(Radius CF, Mills Selig)
Acquisition of Newry Veterinary Centre by Vet Partners
(Keenan CF, Davidson McDonnell, Mills Reeve)
Growth funding in Pivotal Group by Whiterock Finance
(A&L Goodbody, Tughans)
Sale of Forth Communications to Mail Metrics
(ASM Chartered Accountants)
Investment into GenoME Diagnostics by Co-Fund NI, Qubis and Deepbridge Capital
(Clarendon Fund Managers, Tughans)

Deal of the Year (£2.5m - £10m)
Sponsored by:Davy Private Clients UK
Winner:Investment in RGM Vent by Foresight Group (Benchmark International, Edwards & Co., PKF-FPM, HNH, TLT LLP, RP Advisory, Confidas, FWB Park Brown, Amplifi Talent, KryptoKloud, Marsh Commercial)
The investment has substantially increased the market share of RGM, a bespoke ductwork design and installation company, and allowed it to work on larger projects. The judges felt that by increasing the scale of RGM's operations across the UK and Ireland, and therefore contributing to the region's economic recovery, this was the outstanding deal this year.
Investment in B-Secur by First Capital Ventures
(Clarendon Fund Managers, Kernel Capital, Wharton Asset Management, Accelerated Digital Ventures, Tughans, Wilson Sonsini)
MBO of NiSoft Holdings
(Crescent Capital, MAH Sustainability PTE, Withers KhattarWong, Mills Selig, Davidson McDonnell, A&L Goodbody)
Investment in Dolyns (FAST Technologies holding company) by Bloc Blinds
(Davidson McDonnell, Moore NI, Tughans, Grant Thornton)
Investment in Hospital Services Limited by Foresight Group
(Tughans, RPL Advisory, Grant Thornton, Mills Selig)
Investment in Cirdan Imaging by Future Fund, Kernel Capital, Kainos, Invest NI and Clarendon Fund Managers
(Millar McCall Wylie, Tughans, Ashurst)

Deal of the Year (above £10m)
Sponsored by: Honeycomb Jobs
Winner:Sale of Euro Auctions to Ritchie Bros (EY, Jeffries, A&L Goodbody)
This was one of the largest and most complex transactions in Northern Ireland in 2021 that created the world's largest plant and machinery auction businesses with a truly global footprint which has secured the future of EuroAuctions. The sheer scale of the transaction marked this out as a landmark deal with the judges.
Sale of Elite Pizzas to Racz Group
(Mills Selig, Grant Thornton, The Endeavour Partnership)
Investment in MetaCompliance by Tenzing
(Tughans, Beltrae Partners, Marks Baughan, Osborne Clarke)
Sale of Aqualla Brassware to FM Mattsson Mora Group
(Davidson McDonnell, TLT NI LLP, Grant Thornton)
Investment in Learning Pool by Marlin Equity Partners
(Beltrae Partners, MMW, A&L Goodbody)
Acquisition of Neueda by Version 1 Software UK
(Mills Selig, Maples and Calder, Carson McDowell, Maneely Mc Cann)

Dealmaker of the Year
Sponsored by:Danske Bank
Winner:Rhona Barbour, Whiterock Finance
Rhona had an outstanding year in 2021, lead Whiterock's investment loans into a number of companies. The judges felt her professional approach and her well-developed relationship across the professional and business communities in Northern Ireland gave her the edge.
David McCloy, Beltrae Partners
Paul O'Brien, Tughans​

Source: Insider Media Limited (2022)