Monday 18 December 2017

Axe to fall on 50 jobs at Goodbody's after Fexco takeover gets go-ahead

Laura Noonan

ABOUT 50 job losses are expected to be announced at Goodbody's Stockbrokers over the coming days after the Central Bank gave Fexco the nod to take over the brokerage.

The €24m deal, which will see Kerry-based Fexco take Goodbody's off AIB's hands, was agreed in September but has only been formally approved by the bank in recent days.

Sources last night confirmed that the bank's approval would clear the way for a strategic announcement from Fexco "over the coming days". The announcement is expected to include about 50 job losses, which is below previous estimates of more than 100 job losses.

The brokerage employs about 270 staff at present.

Restructuring measures will also be announced but sources said Fexco was unlikely to close any of Goodbody's main business lines.

Fexco already has a small stockbroking operation itself, employing about 15 and there has been speculation that this unit may be merged into Goodbody's.

A spokesman for Fexco last night said the company had "no comment" to make in relation to any aspect of its plans for Goodbody's.

A spokesman for Goodbody's also declined to comment, while the Central Bank referred queries to Goodbody's.

Market sources said the 50 job losses at Goodbody's were likely to be through a voluntary redundancy package -- the popularity of which will depend on the package on offer.

With roots stretching back to 1877, Goodbody's is one of Ireland's most established brokerages and operates across a raft of business lines including investment banking, securities services and corporate finance. Its €24m price tag marked a low point in Irish stockbroker valuations and came in sharply below the €316m Bank of Ireland achieved for rival brokers Davy's back in 2006.

The Goodbody's deal is believed to include a clause allowing AIB to claw back money if Fexco goes on to sell the firm at a profit.

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