Belfast-based agri technology company Devenish Nutrition has secured €118 million in long-term funding to enable its research, development and growth plans. This major refinancing deal is made possible by a pioneering investment of €40 million from the European Investment Bank (EIB). The EIB investment has been combined with commitments from Devenish’s new commercial finance partners, Ulster Bank and Danske Bank.
The EIB investment is the largest ever support for agri-business in Ireland by the EIB. It is also the first support for the agri-business sector in the country under the Investment Plan for Europe, in which the European Commission and EIB are strategic partners.
The EIB loan will enable Devenish to develop a purpose-built Global Innovation Centre in Dowth, County Meath, from where it will develop and showcase its ‘One Health – from Soil to Society’ research, development and innovation programme. It will also fund innovation related capital projects and research into optimised animal nutrition, food innovation, health and sustainability.
EY Ireland acted as corporate finance and tax advisors on the transaction.
Devenish has ambitious long-term growth plans; by 2021 it aims to increase turnover by over £100m to circa £315m and add over 100 new jobs to its current 450-strong international employee base. The dual support from Ulster Bank and Danske Bank will fuel this growth.
European Commissioner Phil Hogan, responsible for Agriculture, added: “The Irish agri-business sector contributes enormously to the Irish economy and particularly to the rural economy. There are huge opportunities for companies like Devenish who have a vision for the future, but they are operating in a highly competitive environment, where investment, particularly in research and innovation, is essential to maintain a competitive edge.
“Today's announcement by the EIB under the Investment Plan for Europe is very welcome, coming at a time of some uncertainty for the Irish agri-business sector. It is a strong statement of confidence in the resilience of the sector and its capacity to grow and reach its full potential.
“The EIB's investment is an obvious statement of confidence in Devenish's ambition, but it is also a very tangible vote of confidence in Irish agri-business and its potential to benefit from new and emerging global opportunities, particularly given the important emphasis that Devenish places on sustainability.”
Richard Kennedy, Group CEO of Devenish said: “This major financial boost marks a most significant milestone for Devenish as we seek to realise our vision of becoming the world’s leading provider of integrated animal, human and environmental health solutions.
“This funding will be invested in the business to build and grow our research & development and manufacturing capabilities as well as facilitate our mergers and acquisitions activity.
“We take great pride that EIB have the confidence to support not just the future of Devenish, but the future of the Irish agri food sector overall.
“Equally, the support of both Ulster Bank and Danske Bank is crucial in enabling us to progress our future growth plans as we seek to develop Devenish’s presence in domestic and international markets and enhance our manufacturing capabilities worldwide,” Richard Kennedy said.
Andrew McDowell, Vice President of the European Investment Bank added: “Agribusiness around the world faces increasing competitiveness as well as economic and political pressures. Devenish has been involved in animal nutrition for more than 60 years and their continuous investment in research and development of new products is crucial in addressing these pressures.
“This is a landmark deal for the EIB in Ireland and in the agri-business sector. The EIB loan will strengthen innovation activities in centres of excellence across the company and enable Devenish to thrive across the world, from its base in Europe.
“Development of new animal nutrition products and research into improving soil health, animal health, human health and environmental sustainability are crucial components for the success of agriculture and food production across the world. The European Investment Bank is pleased to support new investment that will strengthen the competitiveness of Devenish as a world-class Irish company through the €40 million loan signed today.
“This new loan demonstrates how the EIB is working directly with businesses here in Ireland and supporting transformational agri-business innovation under the Investment Plan for Europe,” said Andrew McDowell.
Managing Director of Commercial Banking Division, Ulster Bank, Eddie Cullen added:
“Ulster Bank is proud to support Devenish, which is at the cutting edge of animal nutrition and food science. When we first met the team, we knew it was important to listen and understand their specific needs, and to provide them with an innovative package of support to match the culture of their business.
“Our sectoral experts were able to tailor a bespoke finance package that allows the company to grow and supports their global expansion plans. We look forward to continuing to support Devenish in the future,” said Eddie Cullen.
Geoff Sharpe, Head of Corporate at Danske Bank said: “Devenish has seen significant national and international growth in recent years on the back of a strong focus on innovation, R&D and expansion into new markets. At Danske Bank we’re delighted to support them on this exciting next phase of their business growth journey, not only through providing finance, but by adding value through our technology and access to global networks.”
Established in 1952, Devenish has grown from a NI trading-based company to an international leader in animal nutrition, human health and environmental sustainability. Headquartered in Belfast, Devenish has manufacturing sites across Ireland, the UK, USA, Turkey and Uganda, as well as offices in UAE, Uganda, Mexico, Philippines, Dominican Republic and India. Devenish is an innovative, independent, international Agri-Food Technology company. It combines science, technology and innovation to support Food Production Systems that improve performance and create value. Devenish trades in over 30 countries, specialising in optimising nutrient use across the food chain, in order to proactively improve human health and the environment. Devenish develops and delivers sustainable and innovative nutritional products and solutions for the feed industry, the food industry and for human health. Find Devenish online: www.devenish.com / Twitter and Facebook - @DevenishNutri
The European Investment Bank (EIB) is the long-term lending institution of the European Union, owned by its Member States. It is the world’s largest multilateral lender and the biggest provider of climate finance. EIB makes long-term finance and expertise available for sound investments that contribute towards EU policy goals under four priority areas: Innovation and skills; Access to finance for smaller businesses; Infrastructure; Climate and environment.
About the Investment Plan for Europe
The Investment Plan for Europe, (the Juncker Plan) is one of the EU's key actions to boost investment in Europe. With guarantees from the EU budget under the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI), the EIB and the European Investment Fund (EIF) are able to take on a higher share of the risk in projects, encouraging private investors to participate. As of July 2018, the EFSI has mobilised €335 billion in new investment across the EU.
7 August 2018