A HOST of top businessmen and major co-ops are sitting on multi million-euro losses because of the collapse in the share price of a leading investment company.
Larry Goodman, Bernard McNamara, Padraig Harrington and Michael Fingleton are among the best-known investors who have seen the value of their investments in One51 plc plummet by more than 80pc in four years.
An Irish Independent examination of the company's share register also reveals that Ireland and Britain's biggest dairy co-ops have had more than €100m wiped off the value of their shares since they first traded in 2007.
The Kerry Group is shouldering the biggest investment losses, with the value of its shares down by more than €40m, while co-ops and marts around the country have also sustained huge losses on the shares.
One51 was a spin-off from the Irish Agricultural Wholesale Society (IAWS) in 2006 and has invested in utility company National Toll Roads (NTR), Irish Continental Group and acquired other major assets, but their value has plummeted in recent years.
In 2007, many of the company's shareholders exchanged their IAWS shares for One51 shares, which were then valued at €5 each.
When the shares were then offered to investors, many of the top business figures who are now nursing massive investment losses purchased them at €5 each.
However, those shares are valued at just 90 cent today.
According to the share register:
> Beef baron Larry Goodman has seen almost €9m wiped off the value of his stake.
> Former Esat Telecom chief executive Barry Maloney's shares lost €1m in value.
> Embattled property developer Bernard McNamara's shares are down €800,000 in value.
> Disgraced former Irish Nationwide Building Society boss Michael Fingleton's stake has fallen by almost €300,000.
> Top golfer Padraig Harrington's shares are down €80,000 in value.
Mr Goodman has more than two million shares held through the British-based Parma Investments, the company that owns Irish Food Processors.
Today the value of those shares has dropped from €10.9m to €1.9m.
Mr Maloney, who now heads Balderton Capital after pocketing more than €40m when Esat Telecom was sold to BT in 2000, held €1.3m worth of One51 shares in 2007. They are now worth €1m less at €233,457.
The €1m worth of stock Mr McNamara purchased four years ago is now valued at €180,000 while Mr Fingleton's stake has fallen by almost €300,000.
The company's directors, including chief executive Philip Lynch, have also taken a huge hit on their investments in the business. Mr Lynch's own stake in the company has collapsed to just under €4m.
He has 3.3 million shares and another 893,700 deferred shares in the company as well as 630,000 share options that he can exercise at €5.06 each.
One51 chairman Denis Buckley, who is also chairman of one of its biggest shareholders, the Kerry Group, has lost €421,660 on the shares.
Another director, former Irish Dairy Board chief executive Dr Noel Cawley, has seen €106,354 wiped off his investment, while the stock of another director, Eithne FitzGerald, is worth €41,000 less.
Other well-known businessmen with links to Mr Lynch include former C&C group chairman Tony O'Brien and another director of that company, Maurice Pratt. Mr Lynch is a long-serving director of that company.
Mr O'Brien is nursing a €429,881 investment loss while Mr Pratt's slightly larger investment has fallen from €648,495 to €116,729.
Other investors who feature on the company's share register include Tattersalls director, Philip Myerscough, whose shares are down more than €200,000 and Meadows & Byrne founder, Freda Hayes, whose shares are worth just €23,346 compared to almost €130,000 in 2007.
Today, One51 has investments in a range of sectors.
Its ClearCircle Environmental operation is one of the largest providers of recycling and waste-management services in Ireland and Britain, employing more than 1,000 people.
It has a 12pc stake in the Irish Continental Group, the leading ferry operator between Ireland, Britain and France.