Sligo’s SL Controls acquired in €16.9m deal

5 Jul 2021

Mick McHale, Darragh McMorrow, Dermot McMorrow, Keith Moran, Paul Clarke and Shane Loughlin. Image: SL Controls

The Sligo company has been bought by Danish IT services supplier NNIT and plans to continue its growth.

SL Controls, a Sligo-based software integration firm, has been acquired by Danish IT group NNIT for €16.9m.

Founded in 2002, SL Controls has clients in several industries but is particularly active in the medtech and pharma sectors. It expects to generate revenues of €10m this year.

IT services supplier NNIT, based in Denmark, has 3,000 employees spread across several offices in Europe, North America and Asia.

It has paid an upfront cost of €12.7m for the Irish company, with €4.2m in earn-outs dependent on terms in the deal.

Under the agreement, SL Control’s staff and management will remain but will come under the umbrella of NNIT.

In March of this year, the Sligo company announced plans to create 50 jobs in Ireland over the next 18 months, bringing its total headcount to 140. As well as its Sligo headquarters, it has offices in Dublin, Limerick, Galway and Florida.

SL Controls co-founder and chief executive Keith Moran said that joining NNIT will enable it to expand operations.

“Joining forces with NNIT will further enhance our service offering to meet our customers’ global requirements for fully integrated solutions across the operational technology and information technology layers,” Moran said.

“In the ever-evolving, fast-paced life sciences sector, digital transformation is critical in meeting our customers’ global supply demands for life-enhancing pharmaceutical and medical device products,” he said. “Today, joining the NNIT group will allow us to continue our journey to further grow globally and to provide enhanced services to our clients and exciting career opportunities for our staff.”

Moran founded the company 19 years ago with Shane Loughlin, who is chief digital officer.

Ricco Larsen, senior vice-president of NNIT Life Sciences, said that SL Controls will bring added experience and expertise to its operations.

“The acquisition is yet another important milestone in our strategy to grow NNIT Life Sciences internationally,” Larsen said. “At the same time, we are delivering on our promise to further strengthen and grow our portfolio of IT services and solutions to the benefit of our customers. SL Controls will play an important role in securing our leading global position.”

NNIT, which is listed in Denmark with a market cap of around €420m, reported quarterly revenues of DKK 731m, roughly €98m, for the first three months of 2021.

Jonathan Keane is a freelance business and technology journalist based in Dublin