Tuesday 16 July 2019

Lovin Media Group owners gear up for potential sale

Businessman Emmet O’Neill. Photo: Fennell Photography
Businessman Emmet O’Neill. Photo: Fennell Photography

Michael Cogley

The owners of digital publisher Lovin Media Group have issued an information memo to a number of parties, which could lead to the sale of the business.

Businessman Emmet O'Neill began building a stake in the company in 2014 through his investment group, Kouchin Holdings.

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Kouchin reached an 85pc stake in the business in June of last year when it bought out founder Niall Harbison's remaining stake, in a deal which valued the company at €3m. Former rugby player Jamie Heaslip is also among the shareholders of the company.

Sources close to the firm say the process began after it received a number of enquiries about the business from interested parties.

O'Neill is an investor in several businesses but is best known as the former chief executive of the Topaz fuel retailer, which was owned by his uncle businessman Denis O'Brien until its sale a number of years ago. In 2014, he sold the Smiles Dental chain for €36m.

It is believed Kouchin has invested up to €6m in capital into the digital publisher and that it could seek a price tag of up to €10m.

A spokesman for Kouchin declined to comment.

Accounts for 2017 indicate the company reduced its retained losses to €303,589, with an after-tax profit of €49,154 for the year.

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