One51 to float €320m environment services unit
Firm reveals plan ahead of agm clash with rebels
Investment group One51 has told shareholders that it will rebrand its environmental services units under the name 'Clear Circle' and will float the €320m business in 2012.
It revealed the plans yesterday in advance of its annual general meeting this morning, where dissident shareholders are planning to raise issues related to strategy and transparency at the firm, which is headed by Philip Lynch.
Davy Stockbrokers recently estimated that the fair equity value of the entire One51 group is €521m, with the environmental services business comprising a majority of that.
Rebel investors, led by Gerry Killen, have also raised fresh concerns about a complicated corporate structure used to make nearly €2.5m in tax-free payments, to date, to nine One51 executives.
One51 advanced funds to a subsidiary called Protech Plastics in 2008, which in turn transferred €4.96m in royalty payments to a company called Chandela, also owned by One51 -- in a structure approved by One51 lawyers and the group's auditor KPMG.
About 40pc of that money has so far been paid by way of a tax-free income to the One51 executives.
But the rebel investors have claimed that the patent relied upon to make the royalty payment to Chandela had not been granted at the time the funds were transferred.
They say that casts doubt over the structure used to divert part of those funds to the nine executives on a tax-free basis.
A spokesman for One51, which also owns Irish Pride and stakes in diversified utility group NTR and ferry group ICG, said the date an application was filed to secure the patent -- December 2007 -- is the date relied on by the company, rather than the date it was granted, which was in July 2008.
Mr Killen and fellow rebel investor John Hegarty -- both of whom sold companies in the past to One51 -- will today square up to group chairman Denis Buckley at the annual general meeting in Dublin. Mr Killen holds sway over at least 10pc of proxy votes today.
At last year's annual general meeting, Mr Lynch ruled out a flotation of One51's environmental services unit.
The dissidents have claimed that without a pure-play waste-recycling element to the environmental services division, One51 can't properly develop its waste recycling division