Business Irish

Saturday 16 December 2017

Three new directors proposed for One51 board

Alf Smiddy in running for post at troubled company

Peter Flanagan

Peter Flanagan

THE rebel shareholders in the investment company One51 will propose three non-executive directors at the company annual general meeting next week.

The 'Campaign for Change at One51' said yesterday that Gerry Killen, Alf Smiddy and Dr Peter Brennan will be put forward for election at what is expected to be a stormy AGM at the Shelbourne Hotel inDublin next Wednesday.

The group, which is led by Mr Killen, wants a refocusing of the company's investment strategy onto cleantech and green technologies.

They also want more transparency in the company and are demanding that One51 divest itself of some investments, such as Irish Pride and the financial services firm IFG.

Mr Smiddy is a former chief executive of the brewer Beamish and Crawford and is a current board member of Moran Hotel Group and Bewleys Hotel Group.

Dr Brennan was a founding managing director of A&L Goodbody Consulting and is said to be an expert on business strategy in renewable energy, the environment and infrastructure.

Mr Killen welcomed the announcement and said it showed the strength of the campaign. "Both Mr Smiddy and Dr Brennan have had long and honourable careers in business," he said. "By agreeing to stand, these men show that the Campaign for Change is not the small group that One51 is trying to portray us as."

One51 declined to comment on the announcement.

The 'Campaign for Change at One51' also called on the company to provide a full explanation regarding the sale of a plastics patent to One51.

The patent is said to have been sold by Protech Performance Plastics to One51 and then licensed back in a deal worth nearly €5m.

Mr Killen, who is leading the rebel group, described the so-called 'Chandela Affair' as a "very grave matter".


"This elaborate structure allowed millions of euro to flow to as many as nine executives in the form of patent income in a way that was designed to avoid disclosure," he said.

"These issues and the questions which have been sent to the One51 chairman go to the heart of the lack of oversight and absence of meaningful corporate governance at One51," he added.

One51 maintained that the subject dealt with "confidential company information about group tax structures" and insisted that: "Everything to do with Chandela is above board."

Mr Killen denied that he could not work with One51's chief executive, Phillip Lynch.

However, at the weekend Mr Lynch was quoted as saying that it was "Gerry Killen or me".

Irish Independent

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