Business Irish

Saturday 21 April 2018

What you didn't know last week...with Colm Kelpie

Stock exchange restructured

The official opening of the House of Waterford Crystal on the Mall in the heart of Waterford City in 2010. Pictured were Thomas O'Reilly Master Blower Waterford Crystal with John Rocha designer and Pierre de Villemejane, CEO of WWRD.
The official opening of the House of Waterford Crystal on the Mall in the heart of Waterford City in 2010. Pictured were Thomas O'Reilly Master Blower Waterford Crystal with John Rocha designer and Pierre de Villemejane, CEO of WWRD.
Colm Kelpie

Colm Kelpie

THE Irish Stock Exchange formally confirmed last week that it had changed its corporate structure from a limited company to a public limited company. The move was long expected and allows the exchange's members to benefit from the €45m in reserves that have been accumulated.

Of that, €27.5m is to be distributed among the members. The country's leading stockbroking firms will split more than €27m following the demutualisation. Davy has a 37.5pc holding, while Goodbody has a 26.2pc stake.

WATERFORD BLOWS $500M ON DEAL

The owner of Waterford Crystal is understood to have shelled out around $500m (€361m) to buy six US glass manufacturing plants from Ardagh Group.

Ardagh is selling the plants to New York-based private equity KPS Capital Partners as part of a deal that helps secure approval from the US Federal Trade Commission for Ardagh's €1.3bn acquisition of Verallia North America, which is being sold by Saint-Gobain.

ULSTER BANK INVESTIGATES CLAIMS

ULSTER Bank has hired law firm Mason Hayes & Currant to report on allegations that the lender could have forced some business customers into default unnecessarily, it emerged on Thursday.

The bank's chief executive, Jim Brown, who commissioned the report, said there is no evidence the lender systematically defrauded the businesses.

The new report is part of a wider process that has already seen UK law firm Clifford Chance sought by Ulster Bank partner RDB to probe concerns about the bank's controversial

"Global Restructuring Group" – which is alleged to have pushed viable business into default in order to collect large fees and buy their assets at a discount. The Clifford Chance report found no evidence of such behaviour

MEE TOASTS €94M PAYDAY

GALWAY technology entrepreneur Pearse Mee has been celebrating. He's reaped a €94m payday from the sale of AMT-Sybex, the software firm he co-founded in 1990.

He's the biggest single beneficiary of the business, which has been bought by outsourced services giant Capita for an initial €100m in cash. Capita has agreed to pay up to a further €27m for the business based on targets being hit.

FITZPATRICK FOUND NOT GUILTY

And finally, probably the biggest financial-related story of the past week was the acquittal of Sean FitzPatrick on all counts of permitting illegal lending to the so-called Maple 10. He had earlier been cleared on direction of trial Judge Martin Nolan of permitting illegal loans to the wife and five adult children of businessman Sean Quinn.

Judge Nolan had directed acquittals on the Quinn loans due to a lack of evidence. On Thursday, however, the jury convicted former Anglo directors Pat Whelan and William McAteer on 10 counts each of providing illegal loans to the Maple 10 to buy shares in the bank. The two face up to five years in prison when they are sentenced later this month. But the two men were found not guilty of giving illegal loans to Mr Quinn's wife Patricia and their five adult children.

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