Mullen brings his Midas touch to world of rubbish
Peter Mullen, the Dubliner who made a fortune when luxury good giant LVMH bought his Thomas Pink shirt company for €75m a decade ago, is back with another smart play.
London-based Mullen has emerged as a backer of waste-to-energy pioneer Envirofusion, which is based in Derby. The phenomenally clever technology turns rubbish into clean, energy-producing heat hotter than your average volcano.
Mullen helped bankroll the company, with a couple of mortgages showing him as the lender. He lent it an unsecured loan of around €130,000 last year, with the debt paying 5pc. He also subscribed for a bundle of shares, spending about €280,000. Filings show he owns around 25pc of the issued shares.
Mullen and his brother set up the Thomas Pink shirt-making firm in 1984, selling 70pc of the business to LMVH in 1999 for around €48m and the remaining 30pc in 2003. All in all, they are likely to have cleared €75m.
Mullen made a second fortune when helping to turn the Hunter wellie boot company from a small Scottish rubber boot maker into the must-have wellie for Glastonbury and posh festivals.
He was part of the group that rescued the company out of administration in 2006 in a €2.5m deal. Two years ago, Searchlight Capital bought a majority stake in the firm in a deal that valued Hunter at over €120m.
Mullen had a 18.2pc stake at the time and still retains an interest in the company.
He is also involved with the AWB limited partnership, which has lent money to finance the Austrian communications group Kabel-X.
Another deal saw him hook up with Tory party grandee Jonathan Marland (a partner in the Hunter boot rescue) to form a new investment group, Three Jays (UK).
While posh shirts and wellies worked a treat, turning trash into hard cash may be altogether tricker.