Brian Cowen and former AIB chief appointed to board of Topaz

Newly appointed non-executives also include Emmet O’Neill of Smiles Dental

Former taoiseach Brian Cowen has been apointed to the board of Topaz

Former taoiseach Brian Cowen has been apointed to the board of Topaz

Sat, May 3, 2014, 12:37

Topaz, the fuel and retail chain owned by Denis O’Brien, has appointed former taoiseach Brian Cowen and Colm Doherty, the former managing director of AIB who was appointed in 2009 after the bank guarantee, as directors of the company.

Mr O’Brien, who bought out Topaz’s loans from Irish Bank Resolution Corporation to take control of the company last year, has also joined the board of the company, which has revenues of about €3.2 billion and controls about a quarter of the Irish forecourt market.

Lucy Gaffney, a long-time associate of Mr O’Brien’s who also sits on the board of Independent News and Media (IN&M), has also become a director. Sean Corkery, who is the chief executive of Mr O’Brien’s building services company Siteserv, has also joined the board.

Mr O’Brien’s nephew, Emmet O’Neill, who recently sold Smiles Dental for €36 million, has also become a director of the company.

Topaz has refused to confirm the fees that will be paid to Mr Cowen and the other directors to serve as directors.

John Callaghan will remain as the chairman of the board of Topaz, along with its chief executive, John Williamson, while Niall Devereux, the company’s chief financial officer, also joins the board.

The company made a loss of €13 million last year. Mr O’Brien, who had been a minority shareholder alongside Neil O’Leary’s Ion Equity, gained full cotnrol last year when he bought its €300 million of loans from IBRC for about 50c in the euro.