The low-key O’Flaherty family are behind one of Ireland’s largest private companies, the MSL garages and Mercedes car importers. They built up a sizeable fortune in the good times but the business was badly hit by the recession. But things are looking up again, with pre-tax profits rising to €12.4m. About €167m in dividends have been paid in little over a decade, with €8m paid last year.
The bulk of the shares are held by Kildare-based Nigel (77) and Guernsey-based Michael (83) O’Flaherty, although Nigel transferred a significant chunk of equity to daughters Lauren and Nicola. The firm’s US business, which is involved in air conditioning, ventilation and cranes is becoming increasingly valuable.