An investor backed management buyout (MBO) has been announced by leading Irish construction company Walls Construction.
Founded in 1950, Walls Construction has been acquired by a new holding company controlled by the existing management team and private investors. The acquisition includes the Company’s headquarters building in Dublin and Munster regional office in Cork.
The investors from the management team are the Directors of Walls Construction, Willie White, Joe McGillycuddy, John Cahill, Adrian Corcoran, Frank Kelly and Eugene O’Shea. They are backed by a group of private investors, Gerard O’Shea, John Collins, Gerry Harrington and Peter Boylan. A key second participant is an investment vehicle, headed by Dr Joe Walls and Aidan Walls, representing members of the Walls family not involved in the previous executive of PJ Walls Holdings. The MBO team and investors were advised by Deloitte, Eversheds and Mason Hayes & Curran.
Speaking about the announcement, Eugene O’Shea Managing Director of Walls Construction said, “This is a time of opportunity and the investor backed MBO puts Walls Construction in a strong position to benefit from the upturn in construction. With confidence returning to the Irish construction sector, our experienced team of construction professionals, which has remained intact throughout the downturn, is ready to deliver key public and private sector projects. With the backing of our investors and the commitment of our management and staff, we are confident that Walls Construction will continue to perform strongly. Turnover in 2014 was €84 million and projections based on the current schedule of projects indicate a minimum turnover of €100 million this year, rising to €125 million in 2016.”
“Walls Construction has a proud history and in the 65 years since the company was incorporated, our teams have worked with clients from every sector to deliver world class infrastructure all over Ireland. We look forward to continuing our relationships with clients who have supported us in the past including Live Nation, Kerry Group, Liebherr, Yahoo, Google, Pfizer, RDS, Blackrock Hospital, Mater Private, Bord Gais, University College Dublin, University College Cork, Trinity College Dublin, Health Service Executive, CareChoice and Ziggurat.”
In a message to the employees, clients, design teams, subcontractors and suppliers of Walls Construction, O’Shea thanked them for their loyalty over the years and welcomed the commencement of new flagship projects such as the new Central Bank Docklands building, the LinkedIn European Headquarters and the DAA office building redevelopment at Dublin Airport. “We will continue to invest in personnel and in processes to ensure that Walls Construction remains in the top tier of the Irish construction sector in terms of quality and of safety” said O’Shea.
In 2013 Walls Construction wrote off €19.2 million owed by its parent company which has paved the way for the completion of this MBO. As a result of the MBO, Walls Construction will operate under a new ownership structure and is now separate from PJ Walls Holdings Group.