Kilkenny headquartered Merlyn Industries acquired by Norcros plc in £60.0m deal

 Kilkenny headquartered Merlyn Industries acquired by Norcros plc in £60.0m deal
Merlyn Industries, the UK and Ireland’s market leading premium shower enclosures company, is being acquired by Norcros plc for £60.0m on a debt free, cash free basis (subject to certain adjustments)  from its shareholders the Hoyne family and Dublin based investment firm, Broadlake.  Merlyn was established in 2000, by EY Entrepreneur of the Year Finalist Michael Hoyne and the company employs 58 staff based in Kilkenny, a 16 person sales team in the UK and has 9 people in Asia.
Norcros plc is a group of market leading businesses supplying innovative, branded bathroom and kitchen products with operations in the UK and South Africa. Its portfolio of well-known brands includes Triton, VADO, Croydex and Johnson Tiles.
Merlyn revenues for the year ended 31 March 2017 were £30.7m and Net Profit was £5.0m.  Broadlake acquired a 30% stake in Merlyn in 2015 and has supported the continued expansion of the business.  Today, approximately 85% of the company’s products are sold in  the UK and  Mainland Europe.  

 Merlyn will continue to be run by its existing management team led by company CEO, Charlie Soden and under Norcros’s ownership will further develop its Kilkenny operations, focusing on the significant opportunities to grow the current business.
Merlyn is a compelling strategic fit for Norcros and complements the Group’s existing portfolio of products and brands.  The acquisition of Merlyn is consistent with the Group’s objective of expanding further into the bathroom product sector which will enable them to offer a ‘one stop shop’ to the trade and specification segments in the UK.
Commenting on the transaction:
Michael Hoyne (Merlyn Founder) said:
“Today is a special day in the development of Merlyn.  With the support of Norcros, the business is well placed now to continue to grow and expand.  This partnership will accelerate the company’s international growth and new product development ambitions.  The last 17 years success is as a result of the united ambition and commitment of every single Merlyn employee.  I am very proud of what we have all achieved and I wish Charlie and the whole team every success on their next phase of growth.”
Charlie Soden (Merlyn CEO) said:
“We are excited about this opportunity to deliver on our ambitious growth plans.  This acquisition will give us access to more customer channels and  I believe that Norcros is the very best partner for Merlyn.  We both want to make Merlyn stronger, bigger, better and grow faster but also to maintain our culture of innovation, quality and service.  It’s business as usual for our staff, customers and suppliers.”
Pete Smyth (Broadlake Founder & CEO) said:
“The journey with Michael and the senior management team is a perfect example of where Broadlake’s supportive model works.   We backed a great team and helped them develop and execute their growth strategy.  For the Broadlake team it’s very rewarding to help another ambitious Irish SME to realise its potential.”
Nick Kelsall (Norcros Group Chief Executive) said:
“The acquisition of Merlyn with its premium brands and market leading positions is an exciting addition to the Group, substantially broadening our bathroom product offering. Merlyn’s focus on design, new product development and its standard of customer service will significantly enhance the Group’s portfolio. I look forward to working with Charlie and his team, whose experience and enthusiasm for the business has impressed greatly, as we look to grow and develop the Merlyn business further.”
NOTE: Photos to follow from Jason Clarke – 087 252 0782
–          ENDS –
For further Broadlake and Merlyn information contact:
Geraldine O’Neill PR        +353 87 686 2995 / +353 1 598 9400
Twitter:                @merlynshowering
Broadlake is a family investment company that typically invests €2-10m in established and growing businesses.  It has invested in seven businesses to date including Vita Liberata the International Skin care brand, 2468 Group the acquisitive Office Services business, TTM the International Healthcare Recruitment & Services company and Conveyortek the Northern Irish based Engineering company.
Twitter:                @wearebroadlake @broadlakepete
Norcros plc
Notes to Editors
  • Norcros is a leading supplier of high quality and innovative showers, taps, bathroom accessories, ceramic wall and floor tiles and adhesive products with operations primarily in the UK and South Africa.
  • Based in the UK, Norcros operates under six brands:
    • Triton Showers – Market leader in the manufacture and marketing of showers in the UK
    • Vado – A leading manufacturer and supplier of taps, mixer showers, bathroom accessories and valves
    • Croydex – A market-leading, innovative designer, manufacturer and distributor of high quality bathroom furnishings and accessories
    • Abode – A leading niche designer and distributor of high quality kitchen taps, bathroom taps and kitchen sinks
    • Johnson Tiles – A leading manufacturer and supplier of ceramic tiles in the UK
    • Norcros Adhesives – Manufacturer of tile & stone adhesives, grouts and related products
  • Based in South Africa, Norcros operates under three brands:
    • Tile Africa – Chain of retail stores focused on ceramic and porcelain tiles, and associated products such as sanitary ware, showers and adhesives
    • Johnson Tiles South Africa – Manufacturer of ceramic and porcelain tiles
    • TAL – The leading manufacturer of ceramic and building adhesives

3 Ways to Win in May – Tips from the Broadlake crew on how to Make it happen!

Why not win today!

Every month Broadlake will post a series of quick winning tips to bring you closer to your goals, whatever they may be! We all need triggers to keep us focused and moving forward. Find words or phrases that work for you, stick them on a post-it on your computer and remind yourself each time you log-on to resume driving towards your goals. Here’s 3 ways to win in May from the Broadlake team!

1. Be a Detective: Keep asking questions

Broadlake Private equity

 “The important thing is not to stop questioning.” – Albert Einstein

Don’t let the inquisitive kid inside disappear. As a kid, you were a sponge of information, learning at an unimaginable pace.People are sometimes afraid to ask questions out of fear of seeming “stupid.” And yet the smartest people on the planet are often the ones who ask the most questions. Humans learn by asking questions. We innovate, gain deeper insights and identify problems by asking questions. If you stop asking, you stop learning.

2. Be a Creator: Create every Day


“Everything you want is on the other side of fear.” – Jack Canfield

Try. Fear is self-sabotage. It stops you creating, engaging and succeeding. The only true failure is not trying. The measure of success is how we cope with disappointment or failure. How you get back up, learn from past errors and drive forward clearly without fear.

3. Be Bold: Put ideas into motion

Over the next four years, we will be bold. We will be willing to experiment. We will not fear failure.” -Matt Blunt

Believe in yourself. Dedicate yourself to getting your goals done. Drive forward with purpose, plan well and build momentum to make your ideas a reality.



The Perfect Partnership – 5 Crucial Components we look at when Evaluating a Company

With Every Investment or Partnership we enter, We’re looking for the same ingredients.

As investors we look beyond the business itself. We search for entrepreneurs we can work with. Success to many investors goes beyond a return on investment, and looks to the growth achieved by collaborating, creating, innovating and contributing as a result of the business partnership. A good partnership goes beyond reaching an end goal, it is encapsulated by the journey of getting there. That shared drive and collaboration that enabled the business to reach that point.. We look to 5 simple things when evaluating a company to invest in:

A Top-Tier Team

An entrepreneur needs an army. Our evaluation doesn’t begin and end with the entrepreneur, instead it looks at the team you have and how they’re positioned to make your business prosper and become a leading player on the market. We’re looking for a team that has the necessary domain expertise to guide you to the top. Does your team provide a knowledge base boasting skills in sales, marketing, product development and general operations? Is there a level of chemistry and trust established that empowers the team to move forward in sync? A strong team provides a strong platform to execute, if you nurture and empower yours investors will take notice.


Show you’re business has a proven business model. Investors are in a game of risk. You make an investors job far easier if you can de-risk the opportunity at hand and show that you’ve taken action and began building a business. Show data that supports your claims, show progress that backs up your ambitious pitch and provide an exhaustive amount of research and insights on the market that reflects your commitment and initiative to make this business succeed.

The Right Fit

Broadlake don’t just invest in any enticing business. Most investors have criteria established for the types of companies they look for. We look at the stage of your company, the industry and market attractiveness, the entrepreneur and the genetic makeup of the company. It has to be the right fit, for the entrepreneur, for the investor and for the company to succeed. At Broadlake we may look at 50 opportunities a year but we may only choose just one. If just one is right then one is the right number to do.


Trust is vital. It’s difficult to measure and harder to build but it remains the single most important thing in any investor relationship. Without trust, we spend the entire relationship looking over our shoulder, walking on eggshells and second-guessing everything. This relationship isn’t healthy, it corrodes morale and can destroy your business.

Trust is a two way street in any investment. The investor must trust the entrepreneur and the entrepreneur must trust the investor. The partnership must be built upon this. When entering a business partnership use your intuition, get a sense of whether you can walk together in the same direction to achieve your business potential.

Your Story

Your story sets you apart. It provokes connection and resonance with those you speak to. When faced with an investor, your story paves the way to their heart and mind. When telling your story be honest and candid.Stories inspire when they’re based in authenticity, don’t oversell and exaggerate, or be somebody you’re not.  We want an insight into who you are, and how far you’ve travelled on your journey, the challenges you’ve faced and how you’ve overcome them.

These 5 ingredients help instil trust and confidence in what you’re presenting to investors. Whilst different investors will likely place different weights on each component, their importance is universal. Before you meet with a potential investor be ready to discuss these aspects in detail, with confidence and honesty. Build a relationship that builds a business.

Check out what Pete has to say on what entrepreneurs need to consider before seeking investment on episode 1 of SketchLabs below!

The World is Changing Fast! Here’s 7 Crucial Insights to Conquer Digital in 2017.

Digital is Fast, Frantic and ever-changing.

The current digital landscape provides no place to rest, no place to hide and for businesses, you either listen up or get left behind. The world of today is unforgiving to those resistant to change. We all need to perk our ears and actively seek out the digital trends of tomorrow and help our businesses secure themselves a seat in this future world in the process.

Not everything will be relevant to you, but being cognoscente and aware at the very least is something that will stand to you.

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