Thursday 22 March 2018

'Racing Post' clears final competition authority hurdle

Donal O'Donovan

Donal O'Donovan

A sale of the 'Racing Post' newspaper to London-based Exponent Private Equity has been cleared by competition authorities in Ireland.

Shareholders in the current 'Racing Post' owner, Stradbrook Acquisitions, are thought to include Alan Byrne, chief executive of the 'Racing Post'.

Stradbrook Acquisitions took control of the business when it bought back the title's €180m of debt from the special liquidators of IBRC. It was one of the relatively small number of cases where company debt was auctioned off in isolation rather than as part of a large portfolio - meaning the business' own backers were in a position to bid. The debt was then swapped for shares in the company.

A sale to Exponent's Fence Bidco Limited has now been cleared by the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission.

Meanwhile, a planned sale of Limerick's Barrington's Hospital to the country's biggest private hospital chain has moved a step closer.

The proposed acquisition by Bon Secours Health System Limited of sole control of Limerick's Barrington's Hospital was notified to the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission on Wednesday.

That starts a formal process to approve the sale.

Barrington's was set up by consultant surgeon Paul O'Byrne on the site of the former Barrington's general hospital in Limerick more than two decades ago.

Bon Secours, controlled by the Cork-based Bons Secours order of nuns, is the largest private health care provider in the country.

It operates five hospitals in Cork, Dublin, Galway and Tralee and the Mount Desert Care Village, Co Clare, many of them long established.

Irish Independent

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