Seen & Heard: Roche back in control at NTR

Businessman wins last-minute reprieve after receiver appointed

Tom Roche: wrote cheque for full amount of loans. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Tom Roche: wrote cheque for full amount of loans. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Mon, Mar 10, 2014, 00:05

Tom Roche, the largest shareholder in NTR, has taken back control of his 38 per cent stake in the investment firm after a receiver was appointed to the company that holds the stock.

The Sunday Times reports that US private equity firm Lone Star took over Mr Roche’s debt of about €35 million from IBRC in December and had called in a receiver after talks on loan repayment collapsed. However, the paper reports Mr Roche won a last-minute reprieve by writing a cheque for the full amount of the loans last Monday. The receiver was then stood down. It’s understood Mr Roche refinanced part of the loans with finance from a UK-based lender.

State consultants
The Government has spent over €165 million in fees to consultants and a range of “external service providers”, according to reports in the Sunday Independent .

The paper claims this figure comes from information it has gathered relating to payments by seven of the 16 Government departments and 14 State bodies over the last three years.

Of the figures released so far, the paper says the ones that spent most on consultants include the Department of Foreign Affairs (€50.7 million); the Revenue Commissioners (up to €27.9 million); the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (€27.3 million); and the Department of Social Protection (€20.6 million).

It states that even this €165 million is likely to be dwarfed when the spending of the remaining departments, including Health, Education, the HSE, and other agencies are released.

Richer than Morocco
Ireland’s 300 wealthiest people are worth more than the entire economy of Morocco, according to the Sunday Independent rich list. The paper estimates the net assets of the 300 at €70.74 billion this year, representing a rise of over €6.7 billion on their estimated fortunes last year.

Ireland now has 12 billionaires, according to the paper, with the arrival of JP McManus into the elite group. Indian-born industrialist Pallonji Mistry, who became an Irish citizen in 2003 and whose wife Patsy was born in Dublin, retains the top spot on the list.

CEO rewards
The Co-Operative Group in Britain is facing new public opprobrium over plans to pay its chief executive more than £3.5 million in his first year in the job, while also increasing the salaries and bonuses of other senior staff.

The Observer reports that the latest controversy comes after the bank was last year caught up in a scandal over a £1.5 billion hole in the finances of its banking division. It is also preparing to lay off up to 5,000 employees.

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