Farm Ireland

Thursday 19 April 2018

Alltech continues talks to rescue Keenan Systems

Carlow-based machinery firm Richard Keenan & Company
Carlow-based machinery firm Richard Keenan & Company
Alltech founder Pearse Lyons. Photo: Altech

Talks to save the future of Carlow-based diet feeder firm Keenan Systems are continuing with nutrition firm Alltech.

Keenans, which employs 222 people, including 176 in Ireland, exports to around 25 countries.

The Pearse Lyons-owned Alltech confirmed it was in discussions with the firm and its receivers, Kieran Wallace and Cormac O'Connor of KPMG.

Pat Deering, Carlow-Kilkenny Fine Gael TD, said Keenan Systems was very important for the south County Carlow region and it was a strong employer in the area. "I would be hopeful the negotiations that are ongoing will come to a successful conclusion," he said.

"It would be a disaster if anything happened to it. It has been a great business but they may not have diversified enough and it may be to their detriment."

Mr Deering said there were huge challenges for agriculture in the next few years and with the downturn in prices this would have a knock-on effect on rural economies and businesses like Keenan Systems.

Alltech said it has identified a number of "growth opportunities in the on-farm performance" area and believes the Borris-based firm behind the well-known diet feeders and mixer wagons could deliver more "technological advancement" on farms.

Alltech, which produces products and nutritional soluctions, said both firms have a strong export presence abroad, with Alltech products in 120 countries, which also gave opportunities for "synergies". Bank of Ireland appointed KPMG as receivers in recent days after it is understood moves to diversify into nutrition support services for farmers did not bring in the desired level of business.

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The family-owned business was established by Richard Keenan, a self-taught engineer, and his son Gerard is now chairman of the firm.

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