05 Jul 2021 | 05.15 pm
Denmark’s NNIT Acquires SL Controls
Deal mints six millionaires
05 Jul 2021 | 05.15 pm
SL Controls, the specialist software integration firm, has been acquired by Denmark’s IT services company NNIT Group.
NNIT is one of Denmark’s largest IT services operators with over 3,000 employees worldwide and offices across Europe, North America and Asia.
NNIT’s focus is the global life sciences industry and it wants to boost its expertise in production IT.
The deal has an enterprise value of €16.9 million, made up of €12.7m upfront and an earnout element of €4.2m.
Earlier this year, SL Controls announced the creation of 50 new jobs in Ireland over 18 months to bring the total workforce to 140.
Established in 2002, SL Controls has offices in Sligo, Dublin, Limerick, Galway and Florida, with annual revenue of c.€10m.
CEO and co-founder Keith Moran commented: “Joining forces with NNIT will further enhance our service offering to meet our customers’ global requirements for fully integrated solutions across the Operational Technology and Information Technology layers. Digital transformation is critical in meeting our customers’ global supply demands for life-enhancing pharmaceutical and medical device products.”
Keith Moran initially studied business and accounting in college but didn’t like it and switched to electronic engineering, which is where he met Shane Loughlin. The duo worked together in LotusWorks before embarking on their own venture. Hewlett Packard was an early client, followed by Wyeth (now Pfizer) in Clondalkin.
According to Moran: “Quite quickly, we had 15 employees on that site managing validation. We knew a lot of engineers in the industry and we went after them to hire them when we formed SL Controls.
“We built the company to offer a turnkey solution. We help clients with their systems design, software integration and validation, as well as providing general consultancy services and ongoing systems support. The idea is to assist customers to run their manufacturing lines as optimally as possible to meet their production requirements.”
Around 95% of SL Controls’ trade is with businesses located in Ireland, although the company is leveraging its contacts with American customers in Ireland to develop a base in Florida.
“Johnson & Johnson asked us to replicate the services we provide it with here in its facility in Jacksonville, so that’s where we focused first. We have also signed up Steripack in Florida as a customer,” said Moran in a 2020 interview with Business Plus.
To help chart an international growth strategy, last year the company appointed Pat McGrath, former CEO of PM Group, as chairman.
SL Controls Ltd booked a net profit of €224,000 in 2019 and year-end trade debtors were €1.4m. Liabilities of €1.5m included €1.1m in bank loans sourced from Bank of Ireland. Net worth in December 2019 was €740,000.
The company shareholders are Shane Loughlin (30%), Keith Moran (20%), Darragh McMorrow (20%), Mick McHale (10%), Dermot McMorrow (10%) and Paul Clarke (10%).
SL Controls was advised on the NNIT transaction by Deloitte, law firm Philip Lee and DFS & Co Accountants. NNIT was advised by Dillon Eustace lawyers including Adrian Benson and David Lawless.
Photo (l-r): SL Controls’ shareholders Mick McHale, Darragh McMorrow, Dermot McMorrow, Keith Moran, Paul Clarke and Shane Loughlin