Business Irish

Tuesday 23 September 2014

John Teeling profile: Clever businessman steered clear of property

Published 13/11/2012 | 05:00

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JOHN Teeling is one of the most unorthodox and successful businessmen operating in Ireland today.

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He has made money for many shareholders over the past two decades, although, some of his investments have been less successful than others.

He has the distinction of setting up more listed companies on a stock exchange than any other Irishman, although he prefers exchanges in London to Dublin, because it is cheaper to list a company there.

Tall and broad-shouldered, the 66-year-old who still plays rugby, has fitted at least three careers into his life so far; that of an academic, explorer and whiskey distiller.

Exploration

He hit the headlines last year when he sold whiskey distiller Cooley for €72m to a US rival that makes Jim Beam rye, but he has also been involved in around a dozen exploration companies since he left his teaching post at UCD at the age of 41.

Other companies linked to Mr Teeling include Kenmare Resources, which owns a massive titanium mine in Mozambique, and looks set to start making a fortune in years to come.

Teeling companies have made investments as far away as Sierra Leone, Guinea, Iran, Botswana and Jordan but he is also looking for zinc in Limerick at the moment.

Mr Teeling has been a notorious bear on property since the boom began in the late 1990s and is so wary of property that the only land he owns is his house – although he was once the chairman of London property developer CountyGlen.

He recently revealed plans to set up another whiskey operation making blended whiskies similar to a typical Scotch whisky.

Irish Independent

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