Former Eircom finance director Peter Lynch dies aged 63

The one-time stockbroker from Belfast was considered dynamic and gregarious

Former Eircom chief financial officer and Mincon chairman, Peter Lynch, has died at his home in Dublin following a short illness. He was aged 63.

Mr Lynch's death comes just 17 months after his brother, the former Elan and Amarin executive Tom Lynch, died suddenly.

Born in Belfast, Peter Lynch completed a degree in economics at Trinity College Dublin before training as an accountant with KPMG. He subsequently entered the world of stockbroking and worked for a period during the 1980s in the corporate finance division of NCB, which was then run by Dermot Desmond.

Later, Mr Lynch joined Riada stockbrokers, which became ABN Amro. From 1995 until 2000, he was finance director of the Adare Printing group. Prior to his exit, he led an unsuccessful attempt to take it over in a management buyout.

Consortium

In 2000, the call came from Ray McSharry, the chairman of the former State telecoms company Eircom, where he joined as finance director. At the time, the company was the subject of a takeover battle between Denis O’Brien and Anthony O’Reilly’s Valentia consortium, which subsequently prevailed.

In addition to handling the deal from the company’s side, Mr Lynch also helped Eircom to navigate the period after the dotcom bubble burst, when it jettisoned a number of dotcom-era ventures and refocused on its fixed line services.

He was known within the company as an energetic force, as gregarious as he was direct. He exited the company in late 2006, a few months after its takeover by the Australian investor, Babcock & Brown. In all, Mr Lynch had an involvement in various transactions worth €10 billion during his time at Eircom.

He took a stake in a listed investment vehicle, Oakhill, which subsequently morphed into Prime Active Capital, where he was also chief executive. Its investments included a chain of mobile phone stores in the US. Mr Lynch stepped down from Prime Active in 2014 and it was subsequently sold.

More recently, he became involved in the mining company, Mincon. He joined initially as chairman in 2013 and guided it through its flotation onto the stock market. He subsequently ventured back into the executive fray at Mincon, becoming chief operating officer of the Shannon-based business in 2015.

Efficiency

He left Mincon in January 2020, just six weeks before the onset of the pandemic, to spend more time in Dublin with his family. Less than three months later, his brother and fellow KPMG-trained accountant Tom Lynch, who served as chairman of the State’s Ireland East hospitals group, died.

Like his older brother Tom, Peter Lynch was known by many in the Irish corporate world as a dynamic and ambitious figure, with a particular aptitude for dealmaking and financial efficiency. Although work was said to be his focus, he was also known over the years to be a keen fisherman.

Mr Lynch died on Saturday surrounded by his family. He is survived by his wife, Teresa, and their children, Alexander, Carlo and Stephanie.

A private funeral is due to take place on Wednesday where he lived, in Foxrock, after which he is due to be cremated. His family has called for donations to be made in his memory to the Irish Cancer Society.