Sonas Bathrooms’ management acquires majority stake in business

Buyout led by managing director Richard Sloan, with finance from Muzinich

Sonas Bathrooms managing director Richard Sloan. Sonas claims to be the largest single supplier of bathroom products in Ireland, which are distributed under its own brand.

Sonas Bathrooms managing director Richard Sloan. Sonas claims to be the largest single supplier of bathroom products in Ireland, which are distributed under its own brand.

 

Management of Sonas Bathrooms has acquired a majority stake in the business from its private equity backer, MML Growth Capital Partners Ireland.

The buyout has been led by managing director Richard Sloan, with finance from Muzinich & Co, through a combination of debt and equity. The terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Sonas claims to be the largest single supplier of bathroom products in Ireland, which are distributed under its own brand. The company employs 90 full-time staff and is on target to reach €45 million in sales this year.

MML will retain a minority holding in the business, thought to be about 10 per cent.

MML invested in Sonas in December 2017, acquiring a minority stake and funding the company’s growth strategy. The deal was valued at between €20 million and €30 million.

Sonas supplies a range of bathroom products through a network of trade resellers around the country, including most retail bathroom showrooms and builders’ merchants. It recorded revenue of about €24 million in 2016, just before MML came on board.

The Sonas deal was part of MML’s first fund of €125 million, which was supported by Enterprise Ireland, AIB and a number of international institutional investors. It has a second fund of €145 million, with three investments made to date.

Doubled in value

According to Neil McGowan, a partner and co-head of investments with MML, the Sonas business has doubled in valued since, suggesting a strong return for its investors. “It’s been a good investment for us, we’re very pleased,” he said.

Mr McGowan said the MBO was a “natural progression” for the company and a “template” for the type of investing that MML will do in the Irish market.

Commenting on the MBO, Mr Sloan 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, led by Howard Mahon.”

He said working with MML had been a “positive experience” for Sonas as its “investment approach fully supported our brand development and growth strategy”.

Howard Mahon, director of pan-European private debt with Muzinich, said: “We look forward to working with the management team and the wider business as they enter an exciting new phase of growth. 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.”

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