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Bregal Capital stalks €200m-valued IFG Group

British private equity firm Bregal Capital has been linked with an approach for Mark Bourke's €200m valued financial services firm IFG Group, according to market sources.

Last week, shares in the pensions and financial services group soared after it announced that it had received an approach from an unnamed suitor. IFG is being advised by Davy Stockbrokers.

Bregal Capital is backed by the Swiss-based Brenninkmeijer family, best known for setting up the C&A department stores. The company did not comment last week.

While Philip Lynch's One51 is a major shareholder, along with other private equity players Promethean and Fiordland, the IFG share register reveals that the company is backed by a number of prominent people from the business world. Former IWP boss Joe Moran -- company chairman -- owns €9.2m worth of shares, while former chief executive Richard Hayes is thought to have a €7.7m stake in the company.

Former One51 environment chief Hans Droog -- now a non-executive director -- is listed as owning 23,657 shares worth over €40,000. These were first registered in his name in April 2007, just over a month after One51 upped its stake in the company to 8 per cent.

New AIB finance chief Bernard Byrne holds 7,000 shares worth almost €12,000. Haiti philanthropist and one of Denis O'Brien's closest associates, Leslie Buckley, has been a shareholder for a number of years. Brennan Holdings, investment vehicle of Docklands Authority chair Niamh Brennan's extended family, holds around €205,000 worth of shares. Cinema tycoon and former Manchester City player Leo Ward also owns shares in the pensions firm.

The St Lawrence family, owners of Howth Castle, have a stake worth over €97,000. Dalton Philips, the Irishman running big British supermarket chain Morrisons, was once a shareholder.

Sunday Indo Business