Promises of 'superior returns' fell flat
Published 13/06/2011 | 05:00
ONE51 shareholders were promised they should expect "superior returns" from the company when it first began trading in 2007.
The company was a spin-off from the Irish Agricultural Wholesale Society (IAWS) which had a stake in the utility company National Toll Roads, had entered the battle to control the Irish Continental Group and had acquired other valuable assets.
Former IAWS boss Philip Lynch, who had successfully expanded that company, was at the helm and its prospects looked bright.
Co-ops that were shareholders in IAWS were happy to exchange their shares for One51 shares, while many business figures followed Mr Lynch into his new venture.
From the start, One51 shares -- which are not listed on the Irish Stock Exchange but are instead traded on a "grey" market where stockbrokers match buyers and sellers -- got off to a great start.
The shares, which were initially offered at €5, immediately rose to more than €6, giving investors a 20pc increase straight off.
Today though, many of the company's investments have collapsed in value in line with the dire economic conditions and investors have seen the bulk of their One51 stake wiped out.
Shares trade at around 90c each, down 80pc, and shareholders find it very difficult to sell them as buyers of One51 shares, even at these levels, are thin on the ground.
They can only hope the company's fortunes will improve in time.