Friday 15 December 2017

Ahern-linked firm wants Coillte broken up and sold

STATE BODIES

Emmet Oliver

The forestry company that has former Taoiseach Bertie Ahern among its senior executives, made a submission to the Government's review calling for the break-up of Coillte and greater support for the entire sector.

IFS Asset Managers, which appointed Mr Ahern as chairman of its International Forestry Fund in 2009, said the function of Coillte needed to be urgently examined.

"Consideration should be given to moving all non-core assets out of Coillte," it added.

"The other business elements of Coillte should be broken out into standalone businesses operating independently and allowed to develop aggressively on behalf of the State," it said.



Obstacles

It added that the ultimate aim should be to put these businesses into the private sector through asset sales.

The submission said while Ireland had a forested area of about 10pc, supports were still not good enough and local authorities, in particular, were putting a lot of obstacles in the path of the industry.

Local authorities were creating obstacles to getting timber into the economy, IFS claimed.

Mr Ahern chairs the International Forestry Fund, a joint venture of IFS and Helvetia Wealth, a Swiss private bank.

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