Quinn Group rejects EUR200m offer, Ireland

Quinn Group rejects EUR200m offer, Ireland
Published: 12 August 2011

The Quinn Group has rejected an offer of about €200m for parts of the business from a consortium headed by Liam McCaffrey, who led the company for many years under Seán Quinn’s stewardship.

The Irish Times reported that the bid, which was lodged in early July, focused on Quinn’s cement and related activities, as well as the radiators division.

The bid was backed by KKR, a New York-based private equity player.

Sources familiar with the bid said KKR was prepared to finance the transaction and would have held a majority stake in the business.

NCB Corporate Finance advised the consortium.

The buyout group comprised seven people involved at one time or another in Quinn’s cement and related businesses.

But it did not include founder Seán Quinn or his family, who lost control of the business in April when Anglo Irish Bank took 75 per cent ownership with the appointment of a share receiver. Other banks and bondholders took the remaining 25 per cent.

The consortium included Denis Doogan, managing director of Quinn’s radiators plant, who was based in Newport, Wales. Mr Doogan has since resigned from his position.

Mr McCaffrey is believed to have been motivated by a desire to secure Quinn Group jobs around the Cavan-Fermanagh border.

At present, one of Quinn’s two cement factories in the area is mothballed.

Media reports locally have suggested that a number of long-standing Quinn customers have ceased trading with the business.

Volumes at the businesses have fallen sharply over the past four years due to the collapse of the construction sector.

About 1,000 workers are employed in Quinn’s cement, insulation and radiators businesses, which are thought to have combined sales of about €250m.

In a statement, the Quinn Group described the offer as an “exploratory approach”.

It was “made clear by the Quinn Group board that, in line with the commitments already made, the businesses are not for sale”, the company added.

The Quinn Group confirmed that Mr Doogan had left the company and said the project manager of radiators had taken over the role in an acting capacity until a replacement was appointed.