Local company goes worldwide

Seamus McGuinness, CEO and founder of Prim-Ed Publishing which has begun a major global expansion from its base in New Ross

Seamus McGuinness, CEO and founder of Prim-Ed Publishing which has begun a major global expansion from its base in New Ross

NEW ROSS publishing company Prim-Ed has bought out its partner companies in Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and Malaysia in a major €15m investment move that will see the business double its workforce in New Ross over the next five years.

The company has over 20 years experience in providing tailored resources to the Irish and UK education sector and the new move will see it buy out its global partner, RIC Publications Pty Ltd.; a move that is being supported by MML Growth Capital Partners Ireland and AIB Corporate Banking.

Prim-Ed currently employs 46 people at its New Ross headquarters in Marshmeadows, however, the company told the Echo that figure will double within five years. It currently has staff in Ireland, the UK and Spain.

CEO of the company, Seamus McGuinness, confirmed to the Echo that further jobs are also expected to be created in the UK where Prim-Ed Publishing has doubled its sales over the past two years with its curriculum-focused resources, workbooks, eBooks and teacher aids.

“Recruitment has already begun for staff in the company’s marketing, sales and finance departments,” he said.

Mr. McGuinness also said that synchronising activities at a global level will be key to the success of the company’s expansion.

Senior management staff from the Irish operation are already in the Australian company’s office in Western Australia working with teams there, however, Mr. McGuiness said that all global marketing and financial activity will continue to be centralised here meaning New Ross will remain the company’s global headquarters and centre of best practice.

Prim-Ed Publishing has been working closely with RIC Publications since the mid 2000s and the new global take-over will see Prim-Ed Publishing extend its operation across five continents with sales and licensing agreements in 22 countries.

“This is a landmark move for what, is now, a truly international publishing company,” said Mr. McGuinness, recalling that the company started out 22 years ago in the front room of his home.

“We have built up an incredible team at Prim-Ed Publishing and we’ve been very proud and fortunate to work with amazing teachers in Ireland, the UK, and elsewhere to tailor our resources to the specific needs of very diverse classrooms, environments and curricula across the globe,” he said.

The negotiations between his company and RIC Publications were ongoing since March last year and Mr. McGuiness said he expressed gratitude to Prim-Ed’s financing partners MML and AIB,  the company’s advisors, PWC Corporate Finance, and its legal team at Eugene F. Collins for their support during the discussions.

“Negotiating a deal across five continents, involving different time zones, currencies, and legal systems, was a complex task,” he said.

“The skills available to us at these significant Irish companies enabled us to get it over the line,” he added.

Neil McGowan, who led the deal with MML Growth Capital Partners Ireland, will join the board of the company and said that Prim-Ed/RIC already has an enviable track record: “We are delighted to be backing Seamus McGuinness and his team in this deal and look forward to helping in the next phase of the group’s growth”.