Scandinavian group taps in UK market with Aqualla acquisition
FRP is pleased to have supported FM Mattsson Mora Group AB, a leading international supplier of kitchen and bathroom taps, on its acquisition of Northern Ireland’s Aqualla Brassware Limited (Aqualla).
Based in Newtownards in Northern Ireland, Aqualla is a fast-growing supplier to bathroom showrooms and plumbing trade counters in the UK and Republic of Ireland. In 2020, the business grew by more than 30 per cent, delivering revenue of £7.6 million through its 37-strong team, as well as acquiring the Adamsez bathtubs business.
The acquisition of Aqualla offers FM Mattsson Mora a strategic entry into the UK and Republic of Ireland markets with an exciting portfolio of complementary and highly regarded products. Aqualla will continue to operate as a free-standing business unit supported by the group, with its current management team led by founder and Managing Director, Steven Allaway, and Company Sales Director, Noel Daly, together with its wider senior management team.
A team led by Corporate Finance Director, Harry Walker advised FM Mattsson Mora Group on the acquisition. The team approached Aqualla on behalf of FM Mattsson Mora Group after it had identified the business as an ideal platform for entry into the UK and Republic of Ireland markets. Aqualla’s shareholders had no plans to sell but were impressed by the team’s credentials in their sector and arranged an introductory call.
Having initiated discussions, the fit between the two businesses was evident, and FM Mattsson Mora Group decided to put forward an offer to acquire Aqualla. We then provided valuation and deal structuring advice, supported the negotiation of Heads of Terms and project managed the deal to completion in under three months from the initial offer, as well as providing commercial advice on all aspects of the transaction including SPA and working capital advice.
Steven Allaway, founder and Managing Director of Aqualla, said: “When we were approached by the group about joining forces, we were poised for a period of rapid expansion. We had no plans to sell, but the cultural and strategic fit between the two businesses was clear from day one and we believe there could be no better long-term home for Aqualla and our people.
Steven Allaway continued: “By working with the group going forward, we are excited to be able to offer new, innovative and unique products from the FM Mattsson, Mora Armatur, Damixa and Hotbath ranges to our existing customers, as well as take advantage of the group’s in-house design and manufacturing capability to further extend our own capabilities.”
Fredrik Skarp, FM Mattsson Mora CEO, said: “The acquisition of Aqualla is a very clear and exciting step in our growth strategy and establishes us in the UK and Ireland which is one of the largest bathroom markets in Europe. At the same time, we are taking a historic step by expanding our product portfolio beyond taps. I have been extremely impressed by the strength of Aqualla’s customer focus and dedicated employees so am very much looking forward to continuing the journey with them as part of the group.”
Harry Walker, Corporate Finance Director at FRP, said: “From our first meeting with the team at Aqualla the cultural and strategic fit between the businesses was obvious to us. We are excited to now have the opportunity to watch Aqualla go from strength to strength in the UK and Republic of Ireland markets as part of the FM Mattsson Mora Group. We are delighted to have played our part in bringing the two parties together.”
FM Mattsson Mora Group was advised on the acquisition by FRP, led by Harry Walker. Legal advice was provided by TLT LLP in Belfast, with financial and tax due diligence provided by Grant Thornton Ireland, and commercial due diligence provided by RP Advisory.
The shareholders of Aqualla were advised by a legal team from Davidson McDonnell’s.
Buying a business
We are delighted to have played our part in bringing the two parties together.Harry Walker Corporate Finance