Ex-Quinn executives to buy two key units of manufacturing group

Consortium of former senior executives led by Liam McCaffrey has teamed up with private equity to buy two key units of the Quinn Group, now known as Aventas

Former Quinn Group CEO Liam McCaffrey is leading a consortium of eight former senior executives of the group, including former group development director Kevin Lunney, former group finance director Dara O’Reilly, and former radiator division chief executive Denis Doogan, to acquire the group’s  packaging and construction industry supplies (CIS) divisions for an undisclosed sum. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons/THE IRISH TIMES

Former Quinn Group CEO Liam McCaffrey is leading a consortium of eight former senior executives of the group, including former group development director Kevin Lunney, former group finance director Dara O’Reilly, and former radiator division chief executive Denis Doogan, to acquire the group’s packaging and construction industry supplies (CIS) divisions for an undisclosed sum. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons/THE IRISH TIMES

Tue, Jul 8, 2014, 10:55

A consortium of former senior executives in the Quinn Group and a group of Northwest businessmen have teamed up with Endless LLP, a UK private equity house, to buy two key units of the manufacturing arm of the business, now called the Aventas Group.

The deal, which is close to being closed, will see the consortium called the Quinn Business Retention Company (QBRC) and Endless acquire its packaging and construction industry supplies (CIS) divisions for an undisclosed sum. The two businesses employ 650 people in the Derrylin / Ballyconnell area of the border.

Aventas will continue to operate the former Quinn Group’s glass business as well as its plastics and radiators divisions.

A new name for the two acquired businesses has not been decided but Liam McCaffrey, former chief executive of the Quinn Group, will lead the new business.

Eight former senior executives of the Quinn Group are involved in the acquisition including former group development director Kevin Lunney, former group finance director Dara O’Reilly, and former radiator division chief executive Denis Doogan.

The three local businessmen leading the consortium, called the Quinn Business Retention Company (QBRC), are John McCartin, a Fine Gael councillor who leads Newtowngore Engineering Ltd, John “Bosco” O’Hagan, managing director of theSpecialist Joinery Group, and Ernie Fisher, former managing director of Fisher Engineering Ltd. The consortium has said that group founder Sean Quinn, the former billionaire, is not involved in its bid.

Endless LLP has an investment portfolio with a combined turnover of € 1 billion with 7000 employees. It has 30 investments including Crown, the branded painter maker and distributor and St Neots Packaging, a paperboard and fastfoods manufacturing company among others.

In a statement QBRC said it was “pleased to announce that it has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Aventas Manufacturing Group regarding the potential acquisition of Quinn Packaging Limited and the Construction Industry Supply businesses of Aventas.”

“These businesses are based mainly in the Derrylin, Co Fermanagh/Ballyconnell, Co Cavan region and as such are very important to the local economy. We look forward to working with Aventas both during due diligence and moving forward following completion.”

“We appreciate the support that we have received from many quarters in our endeavours since we disclosed our interest in acquiring these businesses. In particular, we would like to acknowledge the support from the local community and our partners, Endless LLP, who we believe have the expertise to assist us in developing the business. We trust that we can repay their confidence by successfully concluding this transaction.”

“We are delighted with the prospect of returning to these businesses and continuing the tradition of growth and development established by the Quinn Group and its workforce over the last four decades,” it added.

In a statement Aventas confirmed that it was in detailed negotiations with QBRC and Endless. “Whilst there is no certainty that a transaction will be concluded, both parties have entered a period of exclusive due diligence and are committed to completing the transaction late in the third quarter of 2014,” it said. Paul O’Brien, chief executive of Aventas Manufacturing Group said “We are pleased to have reached an agreement in principle with QBRC and Endless LLP. We wish them every success and look forward now to focusing on our remaining business and realising further value for our investors.”