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23 May 2022

€7m investment in Laois business Aubren in Portlaoise

Expanding Laois firm will have new board members also as part of the equity investment

 €7m investment in Laois business Aubren in Portlaoise

L-R Paul Lynch, Investor and incoming Chairman of Aubren, Aubrey Nuzum, founder and CEO of Aubren and Joe Higgins of BGF

An capital investment has led a €7 million investment round in Aubren, a Portlaoise based design and manufacturing business of air solutions.

The investment by BGF (Business Growth Fund), which claims to be Ireland’s largest growth capital investor, will see new members appointed to the board of the Laois firm which is developing a new facility in Portlaoise.

Aubren, which employs 82 people in Portlaoise, is an engineering business that designs, makes and delivers air management products. The firm currently operates at the IDA Business Park off Portlaoise's Mountrath Road but is moving to  a new 5,700 sq ft J17 National Enterprise Park, Togher just off the M7 in Portlaoise.

Aubrey Nuzum, founder and CEO of Aubren said of the multi-million deal.

“The past ten years has been a very exciting time for Aubren. We have positioned the company exclusively into market sectors which are expected to experience very high growth.  We have an industry envied technical and operations team, and now is the time, with the benefits of advice and experience to be shared with the company by Pat, Paul and the larger BGF organization, to move confidently forward and expand our operations in Portlaoise,” he said.

End clients include companies in sectors such as: data centres, telecom infrastructure, medical facilities and pharma manufacturing facilities.  A statement says Aubren works with many companies in these sectors to help reduce the energy consumed in their plants.
 
Aubren was founded in 2010 when current CEO Aubrey Nuzum, purchased the Irish subsidiary of German company ebm-papst one of the world’s largest producers of fan technology, and with whom Aubren still maintains a close business relationship. Mr. Nuzum will retain the majority interest in the company and continue to lead the management team.

The engineering team is led by Technical Director, Dr John Tynan, and Operations Director, Raymond O’Connor.


 
Aubren has drawn together an experienced Board of Directors to oversee its next stage of growth.  Joining Aubrey Nuzum on the Board will be Raymond O’Connor (Operations Director), Mary Ahearne (Financial Controller), Joe Higgins (BGF), Pat Beirne and Paul Lynch as non-Executive Chairperson. Valerie McGrane, also of BGF Dublin, will join the Board as an observer.
 
Joe Higgins of BGF said: “Aubren is an exciting business with strong management and huge potential. We are delighted to invest alongside Pat and Paul in order to help Aubrey and his team realise their potential”
 
Paul Lynch, incoming Chairperson said: “I am delighted to join the company as Chairperson and very much look forward to working with Aubrey and his talented management team and assist them in delivering on Aubren’s potential. The business is very well positioned with some exciting growth opportunities ahead.”

The investment round is also supported by Pat Beirne and Mr Lynch who are both investing in their personal capacities.  Pat Beirne is founder and managing director of plastics business Mergon.

A statement said Mr Lynch is an experienced senior executive and Director.  Previously, as CFO, Lynch led the IPO of Applegreen PLC and he currently serves as non-executive Director of Mincon Group plc. Lynch will serve as non-executive Chairperson of the company.  

The transaction is subject to regulatory approval.

BGF says only takes minority equity positions in businesses with investments typically providing finance to drive growth plans within investee companies.
 
BGF in Ireland is supported by the Ireland Strategic Investment Fund (ISIF) and the three main banks (AIB, Bank of Ireland and Ulster Bank).  

BGF, established in 2011 as the Business Growth Fund, is an investment company that provides growth capital for small and mid-sized businesses in the UK and Ireland. From a network of 16 offices in the UK and Ireland, the company has invested about £2.5 billion in more than 300 small and mid-sized companies.
 
This is the firth equity investment made by the BGF in 2020 and the eleventh since it began operations in Ireland in late 2017. Other Irish companies in which BGF has invested include air quality monitoring company Ambisence, and medical products company Croom Medical.  

BGF has invested approx €65 million in growing Irish businesses so far. It says it makes equity investments in selected companies (typically of between €1 million and €10 million) with further funding available in subsequent rounds. In contrast to most private equity businesses, BGF only takes minority positions in companies. 

It says it aims to provide long-term support (known as patient capital) to the investee company’s existing management and shareholders to help them grow their businesses. 

BGF has made the following investments in Ireland to date

December 2021 - Aubren (design and manufacturer of ail solutions for mission critical applications)
November 2021 - Tigers Childcare (childcare provider)
October 2021 - Ostoform (medical devices)
August 2021 Ambisense (environmental analytics business)
January 2021 Vasorum (medical devices)
October 2020 - Croom Medical (designing and manufacturing precision components for the medical device industry) 
June 2020 - Action24 (monitored alarm systems for homes and businesses)
June 2020 - Edgescan (cybersecurity specialists)
December 2019 - Team Accessories Limited (maintenance, repair and overhaul of a wide variety of aviation engines and airframes for international airlines)
March 2019 - Winterbrook (residential construction)
January 2019 - Brindley Healthcare (nursing homes)

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