Thursday 29 September 2016

List of Siteserv shareholders before main assets sold in 2012 revealed

Published 27/04/2015 | 17:27

Minister for Finance Michael Noonan
Minister for Finance Michael Noonan

A list of Siteserv shareholders in the period before it's main assets were has been opened up for inspection by journalists for the first time since 2012.

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The historic list dating to the period up to June 2012 when Siteserv plc was placed into liquidation is held on a database maintained by market data company Computershare. It lists all investors who held shares in the company at any time before the liquidation, but in each case only the final amount of shares held when the stake was sold or cancelled is recorded.

The register contains hundreds of investors names, including personal names and addresses but in many cases investors are only identified by the names of stockbroking firms including Davy that shares were bought through.

Siteserv shareholders controversially received a €4.96m payment at the time of the sale, despite State owned lender IBRC having to write off debts of €105m owed by the business. The bank received €40m from the sale.

Company documents show that the largest stakes in the business appear to have remained largely unchanged for well over a year before Siteserv was sold in 2012. They were already known to include biggest shareholder and  company founder Brian Harvey, who owned around 16pc of the company when it was sold, and had done for a number of years previous to the deal. Other significant shareholders in the company included people who had sold companies to Siteserv during its debt financed expansion, and were paid in part with stock in the business.

However, calls to open the full register to public scrutiny were made over the weekend after reports of heavy trading in the stock in November 2011, around the same time as bids for Siteserv began to emerge.

The share register was made available to be viewed by journalists on Monday by Siteserv liquidator Kieran Wallace and it does records some share trading from late 2011 and the time of the eventual sale the following March. Based in the limited information in the public share register trading in advance of the sale was largely in small volumes of the by that time very low value shares. A review of the register yesterday by the Irish Independent did not uncover any evidence of any strong patterns in trading over the period. 

Share registers for stock market listed companies, which Siteserv was back in 2012, are public documents and are therefore normally available to be inspected under certain conditions but not to be copied.

The Siteserv register was kept by market data company Computershare until Siteserv PLC was placed into liquidation in July 2012 following the sale of its main assets. The register used by liquidator Kieran Wallace to disburse the controversial €4.96m payment to shareholders.

Tánaiste Joan Burton has said she would like all information on the sale of Siteserv out in the open and said documentation surrounding the sale of shares might also be sought by the Government.

"I want to see all of the relevant information being made available and published and Minister for Finance Michael Noonan has appointed the liquidators to address those issues and report back in a number of months," Ms Burton said.

Meanwhile, Judge Iarfhlaith O’Neill has been appointed by the Minister for Finance to assist in the review into deals done at State owned lender Irish Bank Resolution Corporation (IBRC).

Judge Iarfhlaith O’Neill appointed to assist review of deals done by IBRC  

Terms of reference for a review into all deals done by the bank between its nationalisation in January 2009 and its liquidation in February 2013 were published today.

The review will be conducted by insolvency experts Kieran Wallace and Eamonn Richardson of KPMG, who are already in situ as the special liquidators of the former bank.

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