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Deals of the Year 2018: €27m package helps Joyce Supermarkets double in size    
The winning 'Deal of the Year' in the 'Small Market M&A' category is the Joyce Supermarkets acquisition of four stores to become one Ireland's largest independent food retailers. The deal involved refinancing of existing facilities, with many twists and turns from a structure, legal and funding aspect.
Established in 1951, the Joyce Group is an independent family run supermarket and homeware provider in the West of Ireland, which has operated out of five supermarkets within the Galway area. The entry into receivership of four strategically located 'SuperValu' branded stores afforded a unique opportunity for significant growth and Joyce Group engaged Mazars Corporate Finance to advise on making a competitive bid for them.

Mazars, in turn, undertook a competitive tendering process through which AIB Corporate Banking, was chosen to provide a comprehensive financing solution to the Group. This included the refinancing of existing debt provided by another bank as well as funding to support the acquisition. Including term debt, overdraft, guarantees and leasing AIB provided facilities of €27 million in total.

Jason Hollis, associate, William Fry advised AIB Corporate Banking on the deal.

The four businesses acquired are individually cash generative with strong projected cashflows and security cover and the deal has given Joyce Group significant additional scale, employing over 500 people in nine stores and two petrol stations in the Galway area.

Tom O’Brien, Partner, Mazars said 'Mazars advised Joyces on the buyside as they made the acquisition of Nestor Group. Nestors was in receivership and our role was to negotiate purchase price and line up debt funding for the transaction. We ran a competitive debt process which saw AIB Corporate Banking delivering a good debt funding package which allowed our client finance the transaction.

AIB describes this as 'a complex acquisition and refinance transaction to support Pat Joyce who operates Ireland's largest independent retailer with a significant presence in the West of Ireland.' Stuart Muldowney, AIB Senior Relationship Manager, commented: 'This was a lengthy and complex transaction with many twists and turns from a structure, legal and funding aspect. It required very close interaction and communication with our client and advisors to ensure all stakeholders were focused on a successful outcome for Pat and his team.'

Legal advisors were: William Fry for AIB Corporate Banking and Mason Hayes Curran for the Joyce Group.

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