Monday 24 April 2017

Cowen exits Greencore as bankers keep their stakes

Nick Webb

Nick Webb

FORMER Anglo Irish Bank director Fintan Drury, ex-Irish Life chief Denis Casey and Tourism Ireland and former Kerry boss Hugh Friel are among shareholders who will gain if Greencore is taken over.

Last week it was reported that British private equity group Doughty Hanson had approached Greencore seeking talks on a buyout. Two weeks ago, company sources dismissed this suggestion when questioned by the Sunday Independent.

A deal looks increasingly likely after the sandwich maker was gazumped in merger talks with Northern Foods. Greencore is chasing smaller rival Uniq but investment bankers see the company as a red-hot takeover target.

Fyffes bananas' McCann family are shareholders through their Balkan investment firm. Other shareholders include Giorgio Casari of the Unicorn restaurant, Spar magnate John Clohisey and Tipperary Springwater tycoon Pat Cooney.

The list of those who have sold out is just as interesting. Former Greencore shareholders include deposed Taoiseach Brian Cowen -- his brother Barry still has 1,500 shares.

Enterprise Minister Richard Bruton no longer has shares in his name, like RTE legend Gay Byrne. Others who quit were ex-AIB chief Eugene Sheehy, ex-AIB chairman Dan O'Connor and former Anglo Irish Bank number two Willie McAteer.

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