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Natural World Products secures €23.4m investment


NWP manages more than 250,000 tonnes of organics annually across Ireland, producing high-quality, peat-free organic compost



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26 August 2021

Natural World Products (NWP), the largest recycler of household organic waste in Ireland, has secured an investment of €23.4 million from MML Growth Capital Partners Ireland and 57 Stars. The deal makes MML the largest single equity holder in NWP.

NWP manages more than 250,000 tonnes of organics annually across Ireland, producing high-quality, peat-free organic compost with significant benefits for soil health and carbon sequestration. It employs 55 staff across four facilities in Northern Ireland.

The business supplies compost to a wide range of local community and voluntary projects as well as to customers as diverse as hobby gardeners, landscapers, and farmers, through to Historic Royal Palaces’ Hillsborough Castle and Gardens and Royal Portrush Golf Club.

The deal represents a significant investment in the business alongside the current management team led by Colm Warren.  As part of the deal, all of the existing shareholders apart from Colm Warren will exit the business.

The MML investment is led by members of its Ireland team, including Neil McGowan, Shane Cooke, Chris Walsh and Muireann MacAuliffe. It will be made from MML Growth Capital Partners Ireland Fund II LP, a €145m growth fund backed by British Business Investments, AIB and a number of international institutional investors.  The fund is dedicated to backing small and medium sized businesses on the island of Ireland.

Colm Warren, CEO of NWP said: “Building on the platform created by the vision of Brendan Woods and his family, we have achieved an awful lot in the last few years at NWP despite often challenging circumstances but, in reality, we are only getting started.  We are delighted to have both MML, 57 Stars, and HSBC as supportive partners, backing our ambition for the business and helping to take NWP into its next cycle of development and evolution.”

“NWP is an outstanding example of the circular economy in action”, commented Neil McGowan, co-head of investments, MML Growth Capital Partners Ireland. “It helps divert organic waste away from landfill with all the carbon-saving benefits that entails but is also a key ingredient in helping to return organic matter to heavily farmed soils and offering alternatives to peat-based growing media in horticulture.  Colm Warren and the NWP team are passionate about the business and have a proven track record of delivering strong growth.  We are delighted to partner with them and are keen to invest further to allow this business achieve its exciting potential.”

The investment was supported by bank financing provided by HSBC.  EY advised the shareholders of NWP.  Tughans acted as legal advisers to MML while Mills Selig acted for NWP shareholders.  Shareholder Agreements were facilitated by Crescent Capital. HNH provided financial and tax due diligence and Roland Berger provided commercial due diligence.

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