Seen & Heard: Kerry revives co-op talks over dairy deal

Deal could value business at about €600 million

Kerry Group has revived talks with main shareholder, the farmer owned Kerry Co-op, over the latter potentially taking a 60 per cent stake in its legacy dairy business, according to the Business Post.

The fresh talks have started within the past week and follow the collapse of similar discussions almost two years ago over the value of the business. Kerry Group’s dairy business includes popular brands such as Dairygold, Charleville and Low-Low spreads, but collapsed over price. Kerry Group had been looking for a deal that placed a €800 million valuation on a joint venture.

The newspaper puts a valuation of €600 million on the business, based on annual earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) of €70 million-€80 million.

Teeling Whiskey valued at €150m by internal deal

The Business Post also reports that Teeling Whiskey, established by bothers Jack and Stephen Teeling, may be worth almost €150 million, according to the terms of an internal movement of shares.


The estimate is based off the brothers moving €60.5 million worth of shares into a new corporate vehicle, called Teelco Investments. If the transaction, based on a price of €96.25 per share, was a direct one-for-one share swap, it would value Teeling Whiskey at just under €140 million. The current largest individual shareholder in the business is Bacardi, the spirits giant, which owns 40 per cent.

Contractor MCR put up for sale

MRC Group, the contract cleaning to engineering solutions outsourcing group, has hired boutique advisory firm Clearwater International firm to find a potential buyer for all or part of the business, which is estimated to be worth “well over €100 million”, according to the Sunday Times.

RTÉ, the Mater and St James’s hospitals, University College Dublin and Dunnes Stores count among the clients of MCR, which is owned by Kelan Turley, Donall Barrett and Douglas Taylor. The company, which has about 3,000 employees, had turnover of €112 million in 2021 and net profit of €121 million.

The report said BidVest, the South African conglomerate that bought Noonan Services in 2017 for €175 million, may be a potential buyer. It also put Mitie, a listed UK outsourcing services firm that set up an Irish unit in 2010, as another possible bidder.

Hotelier plots Dublin apartments scheme

The Sunday Times also reports that hotelier Noel O’Callaghan is planning to build 87 apartments at the back of his Alex hotel in Dublin city centre.

The newspaper says that O’Callaghan’s Gold Run Properties vehicle is seeking to demolish a commercial building at 62-64 Fenian Street and eight houses at Base Place and Sandwith Street Upper to facilitate the construction of three apartment blocks ranging from three to 10 storeys high.

Central Bank mulls tougher controls on investment loan notes

The Central Bank is considering ways to tighten controls about the sale of loan notes, an unregulated investment area pitched to investors in areas from property to forestry projects, according to the Sunday Independent.

While many such schemes have successfully paid out to investors, there have been casualties, such as the Dolphin property scheme in Germany, where Irish investors have lost more than €100 million on now worthless loan notes sold through a network of brokers in the State. The German Property Group that ultimately raised the money from investors around the world collapsed in 2020.

While the Central Bank does not have powers to regulate loan notes, a spokesperson told the Sunday Times that it was concerned about the rapid rise in this form of product. It was seeking views as part of an ongoing review of the Consumer Protection Code on whether there should be additional obligations on regulated firms when they undertake activities that are unregulated, the spokesperson said.

Joe Brennan

Joe Brennan

Joe Brennan is Markets Correspondent of The Irish Times