Cantillon: things gone quiet on the One51 front
All metrics travelling in the right direction at One51
One51 chief executive Alan Walsh: has indicated a flotation is a possibility within the next two years
Things seem to be going quiet on the One51 front. The wheelie-bin maker and hazardous waste handler published results showing revenues, profits and cash flows were up during the first half of the year, while debt and interest rates were down. In short, all metrics were travelling in the right direction.
Its statement noted that there had been no further development with the preliminary €1.80-a-share offer for the company from London-based private equity player Capvest, which put that figure on the table at the end of July.
Since then, Dermot Desmond’s International Investment and Underwriting (IIU) bought out the group’s biggest shareholder, Pageant Holdings, at €1.85 a share, raising obvious questions for the proposed Capvest bid. There has been no real movement since then and the price has retreated to €1.80. Capvest is not thought to be willing to increase its bid, although one should never say never in these situations, while shareholders have had their expectations raised somewhat. At the same time, there is no indication that it has taken it off the table.
If Capvest does not take either step, that is increase its bid or walk away, the offer could simply wither on the vine. If it does not go forward, that opens the question of what is next for One51? The group is due a payout from the break-up of NTR, in which it holds a 24 per cent stake. The proposals value that at more than €50 million if it were to opt for the full redemption offered by the wind energy and toll road business. Whatever decision it makes, analysts believe the move will strengthen its balance sheet and give the scope to add to the acquisitions it made earlier this year, Straight and IPL.
This may well set it up for a flotation, something that chief executive Alan Walsh has indicated is a possibility within the next two years. It has been suggested that it could go to market with a price of around €2.50 a share, a total value of €392 million, if this were to happen.