Wednesday 21 November 2018

Hotshot developer eyes Taggart businesses

John Mulligan

SEVERAL expressions of interest are understood to have been received by PriceWaterhouseCoopers in the remaining business of Taggart Holdings, one of Ireland's largest building companies. It saw its subsidiaries and development sites placed into administration and receivership this week.

PWC declined to comment on meetings that were held in Dublin with prospective buyers, but among those believed to have met the administrators is Stuart Pearson, a young Carlow-based businessman.

Mr Pearson is thought to have inherited a substantial sum of money in 2003 that has been assiduously invested by his advisers.

He is hoping to acquire all the outstanding assets of Taggart Holdings, which earlier this week inked a deal to sell its Cecil M Yuill house-building division in the UK to the subsidiary's management team.

It's understood that Mr Pearson is being assisted in his bid for the remainder of the Taggart business by a Swiss advisory firm, as well as London-based lawyers. Mr Pearson has been heavily involved in the London property market in recent years.

It's believed he took part in a deal in 2004 that paid £340m (€430m) to buy a shopping centre there, while he later is thought to have invested in a £600m (€758m) portfolio of 86 retail units that came on the market in London.

It's also thought that he has invested in a small number of properties on Dublin's Grafton Street.

He has invested heavily as a private client of Goodbodys, while he is also believed to work closely with Ulster Bank.

Ulster Bank and Bank of Ireland petitioned to have the Irish units of Taggart Holdings placed under administration amid concerns the company would be unable to trade its way out of its current difficulties.

Taggart Holdings has a substantial debt pile that could be in excess of €150m.

Business Newsletter

Read the leading stories from the world of Business.

Also in Business