Global leader Lowe set for cool future with private equity deal

The Moira based refrigeration experts have developed the business into a global operation
The Moira based refrigeration experts have developed the business into a global operation

Moira based refrigeration specialist Lowe Rental has hailed the start of a new chapter in the firm’s story with the completion of one of the largest ever private equity backed acquisitions in the province.

London based Perwyn LLP has acquired a majority share in the Lowe Rental Group, the world’s leading refrigeration and catering rental business for an Enterprise Value of around.

Founded in 1977, Lowe has developed into a global business leasing refrigeration, catering equipment, cold room and temporary kitchen facilities to global events such as Wimbledon, Henley Royal Regatta, Glastonbury, the Dubai Sevens tournament, and the USPGA championship.

It now it operates from facilities across the UK, the United States, Germany, Singapore, the United Arab Emirates, Hong Kong and Shanghai, and employs more than 125 people.

The deal marks the exit of Dublin based investment firm MML Growth Capital Partners which took a 55% stake in the business in 2014.

Working with the Lowe management team comprising CEO Rodney Lowry, CFO Paul Lavery and group sales and marketing director Rachel McCausland, the company achieved strong growth, trebling revenues.

Perwyn is backed by the Perrodo family of France, owners of independent Anglo-French oil and gas company Perenco.

Perwyn’s investment is aimed at supporting the firm in pursuing “the next phase” of international growth.

“We are really thrilled about the future and partnership with Perwyn Capital,” said Mr Lowry.

“Perwyn are a very specialist private equity firm that focus on fast growing companies; their evergreen investment approach will be a strong fit with the dynamics of our global business.”

As a diversified service business, he said the firm was active in 41 countries during 2017, trading with 142 nationalities from the food production, food retail, catering, event and exhib ition industries.

“We couldn’t have entered a partnership such as this at a better time in the evolution of this business,” he said.

Andrew Wynn and Mark Blower of Perwyn said they had reviewed several investment opportunities in the sector.

“But when we were introduced to Lowe we were particularly attracted by its track record of international growth and high quality asset base.

“This coupled with a reputation for outstanding customer service and innovation are attributes its customers really appreciate and make it stand out.”

The acquisition was guided by the Deloitte corporate finance team in Dublin. In Belfast the firm’s legal advisors were Carson McDowell with KPMG and Grant Thornton providing financial and tax due diligence.