Business Irish

Thursday 22 February 2018

Davy Stockbroker scoops €1.4m in National Lottery sale fees

Fees for the privatisation of the National Lottery will top €1m
Fees for the privatisation of the National Lottery will top €1m

Colm Kelpie and Donal O'Donovan

DAVY Stockbrokers will earn €1.4m in fees for its role advising the Government on the privatisation of the National Lottery.

The right to run the lottery will be signed over to Premier Lotteries Ireland later this year under a €405m privatisation deal struck in October.

Davy was appointed to advise the Government on the sale process in October 2012.

Public Sector Expenditure and Reform Minister Brendan Howlin confirmed Davy's fees, and said it represented value for money.

"It (the fee) was in the order of €1.4m, I think it was, and when you see that the sale price that we got was €405m, to do that well was important," Mr Howlin told the Oireachtas Sub Committee on Public Expenditure and Reform this week.

"It was a successful use of the skills base to supplement the internal departmental skills base that we have," he said, referring to Davy's role. The successful bid for the Irish licence was reportedly double the size of the second highest offer.

The price being paid for the 20-year rights is also well above the €250m to €350m analysts had forecast.

Contracts for the sale were due to be signed in December between the Government and Premier -- which is a consortium of UK operator Camelot and An Post, the long-time operator of the Irish game -- and an initial 50pc of the sale price was supposed to be paid over at the same time.

While the contract signing and first instalment have been delayed, a deal is expected to be inked in the coming weeks.

Privately, sources close to the process blamed a rumbling industrial issue among the 103 staff who run the National Lottery for the delay.

The staff, mainly An Post employees seconded to the Lottery, are on public-sector contracts that include a right to permanent jobs and to return to their old employer.

Unions representing the staff are set to ballot on proposals for a transfer to the new operator at the end of this month.

Fees for mergers and acquisition advice are rarely paid before a deal is formally closed, so Davy may have to wait until the second instalment of the sale price is due to be paid next October before fully collecting its own payment.

Irish Independent

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