Share sale row at family-owned Irish timber company goes to court

Seán McCaughey unhappy with sum offered by sons for stake in IJM Timber Engineering

Mr Justice Brian McGovern agreed on Monday to admit the case involving IJM Timber Engineering Ltd to the Commercial Court list. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

Mr Justice Brian McGovern agreed on Monday to admit the case involving IJM Timber Engineering Ltd to the Commercial Court list. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

 

A dispute between a father and his two sons over shares in a timber frame manufacturing company employing 250 people has come before the Commercial Court.

Mr Justice Brian McGovern agreed on Monday to admit the case involving IJM Timber Engineering Ltd to the list of the fast-track court but he advised members of the McCaughey family, the main shareholders, to consider mediation.

The case has been brought by an 84-year-old retired businessman, Seán McCaughey, with an address in Gran Canaria, who has a 70 per cent shareholding in the company, with a registered address at Larlurcan, Monaghan, and also based in Dundalk, Co Louth, employing 250 people.

The other two shareholders are Mr McCaughey’s sons, Peter, with an address at Hackballscross, Co Louth, and Martin, with an address at Dundalk, Co Louth, who between them have a 30 per cent shareholding.

Seán McCaughey’s action is against the company, his sons Peter and Martin, and a director of IJM, Gregory McKenna of Emyvale, Co Monaghan.

In an affidavit, Mr McCaughey said the proceedings arose from unsuccessful negotiations between him and his sons concerning the sale of his majority shareholding in IJM.

He said his refusal to consent to the acquisition of his shares at what he claims was an undervalued price brought about a progressive deterioration in his relationship with his sons.

Mr McCaughey said, when the sale of his shareholding was first brought up in 2016, he was generally happy with the idea but he later formed the view that the sum on offer, about €1.4 million, was too low.

Mr McCaughey has also taken issue with resolutions passed at an EGM last year which, he claims, will further dilute his shareholding in the company.

The case will come back before the court next week.