Thursday 12 December 2019

Denis O'Brien led shareholders inject €10m of cash into services group Actavo

Alan Doherty, Actavo’s Chief Financial Officer and Actavo CEO and Chairman, Sean Corkery
Alan Doherty, Actavo’s Chief Financial Officer and Actavo CEO and Chairman, Sean Corkery
Donal O'Donovan

Donal O'Donovan

Shareholders led by Denis O'Brien have injected an additional €10m into industrial and engineering services group Actavo, papers filed with the Companies Office show.

The financing round took place in December. Weekend media reports said the group had reduced headcount by around 1,200 in recent months as contracts have been completed or ended.

A spokesman confirmed the investment in the company and noted it as a "significant mark of support by the shareholders in Actavo as it looks to future development across its markets".

Details of the cash injection are contained in a Return of Allotments filing made by Actavo to the Companies Office.

The form is the standard filing when new shares are allotting in a private company.

Actavo's filing shows Isle of Man-based entities Millington and Palmdown invested a combined €10.24m for new shares on December 19.

Actavo, formerly named Sitserv, was bought in 2012 by majority shareholder Denis O'Brien and his long-time business associate Leslie Buckley in a €45.5m rescue deal. Actavo chairman and chief executive Sean Corkery is also a shareholder.

Mr Buckley is the chairman of Independent News and Media (INM), publisher of the Irish Independent, and Mr O'Brien is a significant shareholder in INM.

The 2012 deal - driven by IBRC as Siteserv's main lender - was controversial because the old shareholders got part of the consideration in exchange for backing the sale, despite the bank's realising a €100m loss. Along with other deals where the former Anglo took big losses, it is subject of an enquiry.

Since 2012 Actavo has expanded dramatically, including into the US through acquisition and into the Carribean. It employs around 5,000 people, down from a peak last year of 6,200. In 2012 the business had 2,100 staff.

Its activities range from support services for cable companies Sky and Virgin Media, as well as utilities such as Electric Ireland and Bord Gáis, to industrial services for clients in sectors such as oil, pharmaceuticals and nuclear power.

Its Sierra subsidiary was one of the contractors hired by Irish Water to install water meters.

Its 2016 revenues were €455.7m, with pre-tax profits of €20.4m. Recent job losses are understood to include some redundancies, but there are no changes at executive management level, the company said.

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