Business Irish

Thursday 22 February 2018

DCC is latest firm to quit the ISE and opt for London

John Mulligan and Donal O'Donovan

Another Irish firm – DCC – confirmed yesterday it is ditching its listing on the Irish Stock Exchange in favour of London.

It is a blow for the exchange, which has already seen firms such as Greencore and United Drug defect to Britain. CRH has also moved its main listing to London.

A takeover offer for DCC, which is involved in distribution, marketing and waste management, said it plans to cancel its Dublin listing on May 3. It currently accounts for 4.2pc of the ISEQ's composition, with a €2.2bn market capitalisation.

The group said it now derives the majority of its revenue and profits from the UK and continental Europe.

It added that the potential benefits of being listed in the FTSE Index Series would also increase awareness of DCC among the international investment community.

It said that most of its shares are now held by investors in the United States and Britain and that there has been a corresponding reduction in the number held by Irish shareholders.

DCC generated 14pc of its profits in Ireland and 68pc in the UK during its last financial year, which ended in March 2012. During that period it generated revenue of €10.7bn and €185m in operating profits.

The company has also said it would start reporting its financial results in sterling.

"The board believes that this change will help to provide a clearer understanding of DCC's financial performance by more closely reflecting the profile of its operations," it said.

"Given the current composition of the group's activities, this change is expected to reduce the impact of currency movements on reported results."

DCC chief executive Tommy Breen said that the changes being made will have no impact on the business operations of the group and that the company will remain incorporated, headquartered and tax resident in Ireland.

"These changes to our listing arrangements, index eligibility and reporting currency are a natural progression for DCC given the internationalisation of DCC's operations and shareholder base over the last number of years," he said.

"We also believe these changes will help increase awareness of DCC among the international investor community."

Main listing

United Drug moved its main listing to London last autumn. The chief executive of the company, Liam FitzGerald, said the group wanted to raise its profile among international investors. It is now listed on the FTSE-250.

Some investment funds can't invest in companies unless they're members of listings such as the FTSE-250.

Food group Greencore moved its listing to London in January last year after 20 years on the Irish exchange.

Clinical outsourcing firm Icon cancelled its listing in Dublin in January, leaving it with its Nasdaq listing which already accounted for virtually all trading in the company's stock.

The Irish Stock Exchange has downplayed any suggestion that the drift to London is a crisis.

Dual listings, where company's shares are traded on more than one market in particular can be beneficial.

"The fact that companies can have dual listing in the sterling and euro markets is something that has been facilitated for some time by the Irish Stock Exchange and it works for companies such as CRH, Kerry and Kingspan," a spokeswoman said.

The stock exchange is also backing an effort by the Government and agencies such as Enterprise Ireland that want to encourage Irish companies to achieve scale and access global capital through initial public offerings.

That is seen as an alternative to trade sales that lead to many growing companies effectively being bought by firms with a HQ abroad.

The most recent company to list on the stock exchange here was Fastnet, an oil and gas exploration company that debuted on the market in 2012.

Irish Independent

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