Highland Capital Partners Europe has led the €23.5m equity investment into AMCS Group, a world leader in end-to-end software for the recycling & waste management industry. The UK is AMCS Group’s largest market, with 30 staff based in its recently expanded Glasgow site. The deal, which includes financial support from existing investor Investec, will enable the business to continue its international expansion plans and boost its UK presence by creating 20 additional jobs. The UK waste management market is worth an estimated £10 billion per annum.
AMCS Group is headquartered in Limerick, Ireland and employs 135 staff in the UK, Ireland, France, Sweden and North America. It was founded by Jimmy Martin and Austin Ryan in 2004 and had a 50% increase in turnover to €18m for 2013 financial year, following a 50% increase in 2012. AMCS developed the ELEMOS software solution, a unique way to track, manage and weigh waste by reading a specialist chip inserted in bins and containers. It is used by 700 clients internationally to provide waste management services to 9m homes.
AMCS Group’s main UK commercial customers include major national recycling led waste operators including SITA UK and The William Tracey Group in Scotland. A combination of the ELEMOS software suite and on vehicle technology will assist William Tracey’s business customers meet the new zero waste regulations that came into force on 1st January 2014, where the Scottish government have a 70% recycling rate target for businesses and homes by 2025.
This is the first investment of Highland Capital Partners Europe since it established its Dublin office in April last year. Highland Capital Partners Europe specialises in making equity investments in growth-stage internet, mobile and software companies. Fergal Mullen and Tony Zappala, Partners at Highland Capital Partners worked on the deal and will join the board of directors of AMCS.
Fergal Mullen, Partner at Highland Capital Partners Europe, said:
“AMCS is exactly the kind of high growth, world leading technology company we aim to invest in with our new European Technology Growth Fund. We look for compelling founding entrepreneurs who have the ambition to build world-class technology companies and will bring all our experience and resources to bear in helping Jimmy and Austin achieve their vision.”
Tony Zappala, Partner at Highland Capital Partners Europe, added:
“AMCS Group is a very attractive business with patented unique software solutions which is leading the way business and local governments make the move from simply handling waste to managing resources and providing better services to customers. With increasing focus on recycling and growing populations, AMCS has unrivalled capacity to grow its market share in the UK and internationally. We look forward to working with Jimmy, Austin and the team as they expand the business both organically and through acquisitions.”
Jimmy Martin, CEO of AMCS Group, said: “Securing funding of this scale will enable us to drive forward our plans to grow our business and expand our operations in existing and new markets. There really is no business that can match the integrated waste management solutions that our ELEMOS software and vehicle technology offers. We look forward to working with our new financial partners, Highland Capital Partners, as we continue our ambitious growth plans.”
Investec Ventures invested in two previous fundraisings in 2006 and 2009 through its management of the Ulster Bank Diageo Fund.
John Dolan, Partner in Investec Ventures, added: “We’ve been local supporters of AMCS for a number of years and are delighted to complete this co-investment round with an international partner like Highland Capital Partners Europe. The investment positions the company for further growth and will help consolidate its reputation as a global leader in providing software solutions for the waste and recycling markets.”
Legal advisers were: for the management team – Colm Rafferty at Maples and Calder; for Highland Capital Partners Europe – David Widger at A&L Goodbody, while Shane O’Donnell at William Fry advised Investec. Grant Thornton provided financial due diligence for Highland Capital Partners.