‘Mr China’ buys TNS Distribution after raising extra US$56m

16 Jun 2011

Cork supply chain firm PCH International, which is run by Liam Casey, who is also known as ‘Mr China’, has acquired TNS Distribution for €21m. The move comes after PCH raised US$26m in February and US$30m earlier this month.

The company, which is profitable, reported revenues of US$400m last year.

The company has operations in Shenzhen, China. Founded in 1996, PCH International made a strategic decision to transition away from electronic component sourcing to providing global supply chain management services to the consumer electronics, personal computer, medical devices, telecoms and other technology industries.

In February, an investment in the range of US$26m came from Triangle Peak Partners and Cross Creek Capital. It followed a previous funding round of US$21m in 2008 from Lightspeed Venture Partners, Norwest Venture Partners and Focus Ventures.

And earlier this month it emerged that two new investors joined existing investors in raising a further US$30m. The new investors are Northbrook Investments and J. Christopher Burch.

It emerged this morning that PCH acquired TNS Distribution, an Irish-based pan-European consumer electronics distributor for €21m (US$14.7m).

The consideration includes an immediate payment of €6m (US$8.67m) with an earnings-based payment of €5m (US$7.22m) over three years, based on the performance of TNS Distribution.

An additional payment will be made over the same period based on the overall performance of the PCH Group, and will range from between €5 million and €10 million (US$7million-US$14 million). Ernst & Young managed the transaction on behalf of PCH.

TNS Distribution is based in Ireland, and has offices in the UK, Germany, France, Sweden, Spain and China.

“TNS Distribution is a strategic and natural match for PCH and we are very pleased to announce this acquisition,” Casey said.

“PCH offers world-class product development and supply chain solutions from China to the world. TNS Distribution completes this service offering with a strong distribution network in Europe. Together we will be able to improve the service offering to our clients – including the world’s leading technology brands – who are eager to sell their products into Europe,” Casey said.

Scalable business – jobs potential

TNS was founded by John McHugh and Ivan Eustace. The company also has its own start-up, Jivo, which makes biodegradable iPhone covers, as well as earphones for the iPod, iPhone and various laptop accessories that are sold around the world.

“Ireland is the perfect location for distribution into Europe and to manage the flows of information globally,” Casey continued.

“TNS Distribution founders John McHugh and Ivan Eustace are superb entrepreneurs, who have built strong working partnerships with a major focus on competitiveness and market awareness. We at PCH admire their vision and innovative outlook.

“This business is very scalable, and we expect this acquisition will eventually create new jobs in Ireland. We are excited about the opportunities this investment will bring and the benefits to our clients will be enormous.”

Photos: Liam ‘Mr China’ Casey, above, and John McHugh and Ivan Eustace


John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years