Acquisition of an Irish manufacturer of premium confectionery, Lily O’Brien’s, by Colian Holding SA Piotr Łagowski

Lily O’Brien’s is an Irish manufacturer of premium chocolate products and desserts. A leading global investment fund, Carlyle Group, invested in the company, allowing it to expand the scale of its operations. A few years later, in 2017, the Fund decided to exit the investment. This caught the interest of the Polish company, Colian Holding S.A., whose strategy involved the acquisition of brand-name confectionery manufacturers in selected markets. PLCF Piotr Łagowski, a regular transaction advisor for Colian Holding S.A., was responsible for this transaction.

Our task was to manage a project team consisting of Colian experts as well as Irish legal and financial advisors. The mission of the team was to carry out a comprehensive due diligence of the target company, define the synergies, plan the integration and prepare the financial forecasts and appraisals. We were also responsible for the entire negotiation process.

The greatest challenge of the project was the need to build appropriate communications between the buyer, a Polish company, the seller, a global giant in the investment fund sector, the local Irish partners and the management board of the acquiree. This was successfully achieved, and at the end of 2017 a transaction worth EUR 40 million (for shares plus the debt) was finalised. This is the largest investment by a Polish company in Ireland.

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