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Arnotts CEO: store buyout would be 'best for business'

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At the entrance to Arnotts store: "Buyout would be best..."

At the entrance to Arnotts store: "Buyout would be best..."

At the entrance to Arnotts store: "Buyout would be best..."

The CEO of Arnotts, Ray Hernan, has said he hopes that one of the company's two owners will soon buy out the other.

The iconic Dublin department store is currently jointly owned. In 2010 Ulster Bank and IBRC wrote off hundreds of millions in debt that the company had racked up in exchange for ownership of the business.

New York-based investment firm Apollo Management bought €230m of the retailer's loans for a 50pc stake in the firm, while Brown Thomas owner Galen Weston and developer Noel Smyth, control the other half through Fitzwilliam Finance Partners.

Arnotts chief Ray Hernan says that both are now keen to buy out the other and assume full control of the business - and he added that he hopes it happens soon.

"I think they would prefer, and I think it would be the best thing for the business, if one party bought out the other," he said.

"I suppose it's fair to say I don't think Noel Smyth thought he would own just 50pc. I think he would probably have thought 'Once I got the first 50, then I'll get the second 50 reasonably easily.'

"I think both parties would be keen to resolve this sooner rather than later, hopefully it would happen in 2015."

Sunday Indo Business