Thursday 20 October 2016

Family behind Kylemore rejected in bid to regain full ownership

Published 14/11/2015 | 02:30

Brian Hogan, CEO, Kylemore Services Group
Brian Hogan, CEO, Kylemore Services Group

As one family sells up, another of equal financial prominence hopes to buy back the stake they sold over 16 years ago in the firm, which is now fourth-generation.

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Brian Hogan of KSG had his €6.5m offer rejected for the 50pc share in the company, which was held by the DCC conglomerate since 1999.

Chief Executive Tommy Breen said he was "slightly amused" by a statement on Monday from the Hogan family, which said they had offered to buy DCC's 50pc stake for €6.5m.

"We already told them it isn't and hasn't been for sale," said Mr Breen.

But he added that it was worth more to DCC than the price offered.

Brian Hogan, meanwhile, said they believed the offer "provides an opportunity for DCC to sell its shareholding in KSG, so it can concentrate on its core interests".

The move can only have come as a serious blow to the Hogan family - though the bid was considered by observers to have been a "naive" one.

The Hogans started out in 1920 with a dairy on Store Street in inner-city Dublin - the site where the garda station now stands.

The focus changed to baking when Hogan's grandmother decided to take advantage of the thousands of fans descending on Dublin for the All-Ireland finals.

She baked some cakes, displayed them in the window and the Kylemore bakery was born.

Over the years, the company expanded, first adding a bakery to the original premises, moving to others and gradually moving into retail and contract catering - which is where the real money turned out to be.

Born in 1952, Brian Hogan began work at Kylemore when he was just 10 years old, packing cakes.

"I wasn't very good at school, so I much preferred to be packing Christmas cakes and mince pies," he admitted in an interview.

"He's a very proud Dubliner and has a very strong work ethic," said a close associate.

Hogan bought the business from the rest of his siblings in 1989.

In 1987, Kylemore opened its cafe on O'Connell Street, but the bakery part of the business closed in 2002.

In 1999, Hogan sold 50pc of the company to DCC, feeling that they needed a strategic partner to strengthen the business.

"They brought the skills we lacked - in terms of strategy, with professionalism around things like accounting, reporting and analysis," says Hogan.

He and his wife Jane have three children in their 30s, Julie, Sarah - a prominent stylist working in London, reputed to have worked with Princess Eugenie and Beatrice - and son Patrick, who was a race car driver in his 20s and who is now working as operations director at KSG.

Brian and Jane moved in recent years from a large house in Killiney, 'downsizing' to Ailesbury Road on south Dublin.

Irish Independent

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