Friday 18 October 2019

Laptops, blinds, new meeting room table and bins: Contents of Datalex office used to back loan

Tables and chairs among security

Apology: Former Datalex chairman Paschal Taggart regretted not doing a better job
Apology: Former Datalex chairman Paschal Taggart regretted not doing a better job
John Mulligan

John Mulligan

Dozens of laptops, blinds, a new meeting room table, televisions, bins and a concrete slab for a bicycle shelter are among the long list of items that have been put up as security by troubled travel software firm Datalex for a €6.1m loan from a firm controlled by billionaire financier Dermot Desmond.

Datalex agreed the terms of the loan in April, but it has only been formally registered as a charge within the past few days. The money has been loaned to the firm by Isle of Man-based company Tireragh, which was only set up in March. Mr Desmond's IIU vehicle owns 29.9pc of Datalex.

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In April, Datalex shareholders approved the loan from Tireragh to the software firm.

Tireragh is charging 10pc interest on the loan.

The debenture has just been registered as a charge against Datalex. The items being used as security also include laptops used by specific staff members, a dishwasher, Skype speaker phones, keyboards, servers, monitors, name plates for desks, and chairs. The security additionally includes Datalex bank accounts and insurance policies.

In January, Datalex revealed that its first-half results from 2018 had been mis-stated. Its shares plunged and it had to shore up its balance sheet.

Apart from the loan from Mr Desmond, his IIU vehicle also provided Datalex with €3.8m via a share placing. The company has additionally cut jobs. Datalex chairman Paschal Taggart left the group last month after announcing in April that he would step down. It is believed a new chairman will be named soon.

CEO Aidan Brogan also resigned in May. He had been chief executive since 2012 and had joined the company in 1994.

Datalex deputy chairman Sean Corkery has been acting as CEO until the appointment of a new boss for the stock market-listed firm.

In May, the company hired former Google executive Niall O'Sullivan as its chief financial officer. He succeeded former NAMA executive Donal Rooney, who said in February he would leave the embattled group after less than four months in the role.

A subsequent report into the events at Datalex by PwC found that "significant accounting irregularities" within the travel software firm were the "underlying cause" for the mis-statement of revenue and earnings for the first half of 2018.

Speaking at the Datalex extraordinary general meeting in April to approve the loan from Mr Desmond's Tireragh to the firm, Mr Taggart said he would like to be leaving the business in "different circumstances".

"I would like to have done a far better job," he said.

"I would like to apologise unreservedly to all shareholders, to the staff recently made redundant and their families," he also told investors.

Irish Independent

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