Business Irish

Friday 24 January 2020

One51 calls off shareholder vote to approve IPO plans

One51 chief executive Alan Walsh
One51 chief executive Alan Walsh
Donal O'Donovan

Donal O'Donovan

One51 surprised the market last night with a note that effectively spells the end of a plan to float on the stock market in the immediate term.

The company said it has proposed adjourning indefinitely an extraordinary general meeting (EGM) scheduled for next Thursday, when shareholders were due to vote on whether of not to push ahead with an initial public offering (IPO) and listings in Dublin and London.

The company's annual general meeting will still take place on Thursday, where the decision to shelve the IPO vote looks set to dominate proceedings.

In a statement, the company indicated that a stock market listing is still on the cards at some point.

One51 said the decision to park the EGM was taken "following consultation with certain shareholders" and in order "to allow for further consultation with shareholders and consideration of alternative proposals, which include an IPO or a listing at a future date".

Businessman Dermot Desmond is One51's biggest shareholder, with a stake of around 23pc, and he is reported to be opposed to the plan that was due to be voted on next Thursday.

That opposition is centred on a proposal to hand a fifth of One51 to three Canadian investors in a majority-owned Canadian plastics subsidiary IPL ahead of the float.

That would dilute the holding of existing shareholders, over and above any dilution resulting from a new share placing.

In March, announcing the plan to IPO, One51 chief executive Alan Walsh said the company needed to enhance liquidity in its shares for its next phase of growth.

"In recent months progress has been made to facilitate a listing and to raise additional equity capital," Mr Walsh said.

One51 posted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) of €36.1m for 2015, up 67.1pc on the previous year.

Revenue jumped by 32.4pc to €366m with profit before tax decreasing by €4.78m year on year to €21.1m.

Shares in the Irish company, which employs around 1,700 people across Ireland, the UK, North America, and China, currently trade on an informal "grey market".

This means the company's shares are not listed on a stock exchange but can be bought and sold through brokers.

Other substantial shareholders include meat and property investor Larry Goodman and a number Irish farmer owned co-ops including Kerry.

Irish Independent

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