Sunday 25 February 2018

Ex-Ulster star Danielli is player in Siac rescue deal

Former Scotland and Ulster rugby star Simon Danielli has emerged as one of the players behind the deal to rescue building group Siac out of examinership with an €8m bailout package.

The Feighery family, who were majority shareholders in Siac, hooked up with former boss Finn Leyden and a number of other investors, to seal a deal with Grant Thornton for the company that hit the skids with more than €42m in debts.

Other consortia, including one headed up by former Siteserv founder Brian Harvey, fell away.

Danielli, who won 32 caps for Scotland, scoring eight tries, retired due to injury in 2012. He also played for Ulster, where he married his wife Olivia, who is part of the wealthy Jennings family. Danielli is a director of the Ducales Trading company, along with Shamus Jennings.

The Jennings family are one of the richest families in the North, having earned around €115m from the sale of their Rotary building services firm to Australia group Hastie in 2008.

Brothers Shamus and Francis Jennings entered the property market, with rather mixed results. Their Valto Group was involved in a number of shopping centre schemes before going into administration last year, with total losses of €68m in 2011 and 2012.

Last February, Nama took an interest in one of the family's UK shopping centres. And while the property side of things was going a bit brown, the Jennings' other wealth seemed unaffected -- with their Ducales Group picking up some of the Valto assets.

Shamus and son Peter are also involved in Ferrari racing team Sorbus Racing, which is described as "one of the premier privateer race teams" on the European circuit.

Pressing the pedal to the metal could be what's needed by Siac's new owners as construction begins to recover.

Irish Independent

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