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Feargal Quinn reveals stake in Pre-Pay power group


Former Superquinn chief Feargal Quinn

Former Superquinn chief Feargal Quinn

Former Superquinn chief Feargal Quinn

Former Superquinn chief Feargal Quinn has emerged as an investor in Andrew Collins' fast-growing energy firm PrepayPower.

Quinn, who sold Superquinn to property speculators for €450m in 2005, has revealed shareholdings in PrepayPower Holdings and PrepayPower UK in his latest disclosure in the Senate's register of members' interests.

PrepayPower has raised about €20m in investment from backers since it was set up in late 2009. Last September, PrepayPower announced that it was to raise €4m in a loan note to fund its further expansion in the domestic market, dominated by ESB, Bord Gais and Airtricity. The three-year loan note will pay a coupon 12 per cent a year.

PrepayPower has been hoovering up new customers since entrepreneur Collins set it up. The company sells electricity to households via specially installed meters. These meters are supplied free of charge. Customers top up their electricity by entering special codes purchased online or from a network of retailers. Along with Pinergy – backed by Ireland rugby star Paul O'Connell – these new firms have taken over 5 per cent of the domestic energy market.

The PrepayPower shareholding is one of a number of energy and renewables firms disclosed by Quinn to the Oireachtas.

He is also a shareholder in Wire-Lite Sensors, a wireless energy management firm, and is a backer of solar-power group Elgin Energy, which is planning a major solar farm in Norfolk. He also owns a stake in innovative LED lighting group Nualight.

In addition, Quinn has backed financial tech group Sentennial, which includes former finance minister Charlie McCreevy among its board members. He has also put money into food safety group Kelsius, which recently raised over €1m from investors.

Quinn has also invested in funds operated by major international banks or private equity houses including Seamus Fitzpatrick's Capvest – owner of the Mater Private.

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