Business Irish

Friday 13 December 2019

Senior executives at Merrion Capital in '€10m management-led buyout'

Stack of euros
Stack of euros

Sarah McCabe

A GROUP of senior executives at Merrion Capital are taking over the company in a deal that could prompt the departure of chief executive John Conroy, reports indicate.

Merrion's group head of private clients Shane Nolan is leading the management-led buyout of the Dublin-based securities firm, wire service Bloomberg has reported, citing two sources. The management buyout group also includes Ivan Fox, chairman of the company's fund management unit.

The deal will involves chief executive John Conroy selling his stake and Mr Conroy may leave the firm he co-founded in 1999 entirely, Bloomberg said.

New York investment firm Allen & Co will also sell its stake of about 20pc in the firm.

A spokesman for Merrion Capital did not immediately respond when contacted for comment.

The price tag on the deal is not yet clear though rumours suggest a figure of about €10m.

The company had about €8m of net assets at the end of 2012, according to the firm's most recent set of accounts, though it is thought to have been worth as much as €30m several years ago.

Other contenders previously rumoured to be in the running included securities firm Cantor Fitzgerald and wealth manager Brewin Dolphin.

Merrion's sale is the latest in a series of consolidations for the stockbroking industry. In the last few years Davy has mopped up Bloxham, Dolmen was taken over by giant US financial group Cantor Fitzgerald, NCB was taken over by South African bank Investec and Goodbody Stockbrokers was sold by AIB to Brian McCarthy's Fexco.

The sale of one of the last remaining stockbroking houses will result in Merrion's fourth ownership change in a decade.

In 2005, Iceland's Landsbanki acquired control of the company before management bought it back four years later, after Icelandic authorities seized the lender. Conroy and Nolan led a shareholder restructuring in 2010, which resulted in a number of top executives leaving the firm.

Irish Independent

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