Larry Goodman puts eldest son in key spot on new board over empire

Move puts order over the long-term direction of the Goodman family’s interests

Larry Goodman  has become chairman of the supervisory board over the family’s ABP Food Group and Parma investments arm. Photograph: Eamonn Farrell/ Photocall Ireland

Larry Goodman has become chairman of the supervisory board over the family’s ABP Food Group and Parma investments arm. Photograph: Eamonn Farrell/ Photocall Ireland

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Businessman Larry Goodman has set up a supervisory board over his beef-to-property empire, putting his eldest son in a key succession position. The move puts order over the long-term direction of the Goodman family’s interests.

Mr Goodman (84) has become chairman of the supervisory board over the family’s ABP Food Group and Parma investments arm, which have a combined annual turnover of more than €4.5 billion and employ 15,000 people across nine countries, the group said in a statement after staff were informed of the development on Thursday.

The overhaul sees Mr Goodman step down from the board of ABP Food Group, the largest beef processor in Ireland and Britain, which dates back to 1954. However, his son, Laurence Goodman jnr (40), will join both the board of ABP Food, where he has extensive prior experience at both plant and divisional level, and the overarching supervisory board.

The beef magnate’s younger son, Mark Goodman (37), who resigned as managing director of ABP International a year ago, has also stepped down from the board of ABP Food, according to the statement. He established an investment company this year, called Bellingham Capital, to target opportunities in the agribusiness, food and renewable energy fields across Ireland and Britain.

“The role and purpose of the supervisory board is to provide oversight and strategic direction to the boards of both ABP Food Group and Parma, in accordance with the Goodman family’s vision and objectives,” the statement said. “The new board has been set up in order to evolve the governance and strategic leadership of the Goodman family businesses for the longer term.”

Board members

The other members of the supervisory board are: Nigel Boardman, a former partner and ongoing consultant to UK corporate law firm Slaughter and May; Danny Kitchen, a seasoned boardroom operator who was appointed chairman of Irish Nationwide Building Society after the property crash and chaired Applegreen before it was taken private earlier this year; Sean Mooney, a former KPMG Ireland partner and long-time associate of Mr Goodman; and Eric Wallace, a former KPMG Ireland tax partner who left the firm earlier this year.

ABP Food Group was the subject earlier this year of both unfounded takeover and initial public offering (IPO) speculation. Sources said the new supervisory board structure reinforced the family’s long-term commitment to the business.

Parma is the family office of the Goodman family, managing interests in property, investments and healthcare, including the Blackrock Clinic, Hermitage Clinic and Galway Clinic.

The Irish Times reported on Thursday that a new umbrella company being formed over the three private hospitals, Blackrock Healthcare Group, had tapped Niall O’Sullivan, a senior executive involved in the recent turnaround of Dublin-listed Datalex, to become its chief financial officer (CFO).