Saturday 16 December 2017

Desmond's €64m One51 stake sold to Canadians

Dermot Desmond
Dermot Desmond
John Mulligan

John Mulligan

Billionaire businessman Dermot Desmond has sold his almost 23pc stake in plastics maker One51 to Canadian investment giant Caisse de depot et placement de Quebec (CDPQ), ending a more than two-year involvement with the company and reigniting speculation of a possible stock market flotation.

The sale price wasn't divulged, but shares in One51 - which is an unlisted plc - are traded on the so-called grey market and were changing hands this week at about €1.80. That values the business at €283.5m. Based on the share price, Mr Desmond's stake was worth €64.6m.

Mr Desmond held his stake in One51 via his IIU Nominees vehicle. IIU was not listed as a shareholder in One51's 2014 annual report, but it's thought that he started buying shares towards the end of that year. IIU was listed as having a 20.8pc holding by the end of 2015.

Mr Desmond paid more than €36m in 2015 to buy a 12.4pc stake in One51 from businessman Nick Furlong's Pageant Holdings. Mr Desmond paid €1.85 per share and that boosted his holding in One51 to about 20pc. He was the single biggest shareholder in the company, which was spun out of agri group IAWS and was for years headed by Philip Lynch.

In early 2015, One51 shares were changing hands at around €1 each. Mr Desmond is thought to have acquired a large chunk of shares early that year, meaning he could still have made a sizeable profit on the sale to CDPQ, despite buying the Pageant stake at €1.85 per share. It's likely that CDPQ paid a premium to acquire a large chunk of One51 in one swoop.

One51 said that Pat Gilroy, who was a nominee director of IIU to the board, as resigned as a non-executive of the group with immediate effect.

One51 recently offloaded the remainder of its metals recycling businesses and is now focused on plastics manufacturing. Beef baron Larry Goodman is also a shareholder in One51, with his Vevan vehicle owning 4.4pc. Co-ops including Kerry, Lakelands and Dairygold are also shareholders.

One51 acquired a 66pc stake in Canadian plastics company IPL in 2015 for €201m.

CDPQ is a shareholder in IPL, with a 22pc stake.

One51 had intended to pull the trigger on a stock market flotation last year, in a move that would have seen CDPQ buy €20m worth of shares in the Irish group. The Irish company had also been the target of a takeover attempt in 2015 by investment group Capvest.

Irish Independent

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