Seen & Heard: US fund Apollo considers bid for PTSB

PCH loses Apple contract

Apollo is understood to be one of a number of funds considering a bid for Permanent TSB. Photograph: Alan Betson

Apollo is understood to be one of a number of funds considering a bid for Permanent TSB. Photograph: Alan Betson


US fund Apollo is eyeing mortgage lender Permanent TSB, which it is considering merging with other credit providers and loan books, according to The Sunday Business Post.

The newspaper said Apollo is understood to be one of a number of funds considering a bid for the Irish bank. Investors regard PTSB as attractive because its deposit book gives access to low-cost funding.

Minister for Finance Michael Noonan said last week, in response to a parliamentary question, he could not “discount the possibility that a strategic transaction could arise opportunistically at any time involving PTSB that could be in the best interests of the State”. Shares in the bank rose 10 per cent on Wednesday following his remarks but fell back sharply in the wake of the Brexit vote.

PCH loses Apple contract

The Sunday Business Post also reported that supply chain company PCH lost a contract with Apple before announcing last week that it was cutting 1,500 jobs in China and closing some facilities there.

Apple contributed hundreds of millions to PCH’s $1 billion annual turnover. The Irish company, founded by Liam Casey, worked not only with the multinational but also its subsidiary, Beats, the headphones maker founded by US rapper Dr Dre.

PCH never comments on its relationship with Apple although the US company has named it as a supplier. Mr Casey has called Foxcom, one of Apple’s bigger contract manufacturers, “a customer, a supplier and a competitor”. 

Cenkos takes Providence stake

London broker Cenkos Securities is taking a 6.1 per cent stake in Providence Resources, the Irish oil and gas explorer headed by Tony O’Reilly junior, in lieu of payment for €5.85 million in professional fees, the Sunday Times reported.

Cenkos, the company’s stockbroker, will be allocated almost 38 million shares as part of an overhaul of Providence’s finances announced last week, the newspaper said.

Melody Finance is taking $1.7 million of $21.7 million that Providence owes it in the form of shares, giving it 1.6 per cent of the company.

The arrangements are part of a larger deal that involves new investors putting up $68.4 million in return for shares that will give them 65 per cent of the company. Existing shareholders can subscribe for $5.45 million of the new stock, but will own less than 25 per cent. Some of the money raised will be used to repay Melody’s remaining $20 million and to pay $4.77 million due to drilling company Transocean.

Ronan scheme in Wicklow

Ronan Group Real Estate, headed by former Treasury Holdings backer Johnny Ronan, is considering a large mixed development in Wicklow, the Sunday Times said.

Its management recently met Wicklow County Council chief executive Bryan Doyle, and other officials, with a proposal to develop apartments, shops and a cinema on local authority land.

The site is next to IDA Ireland property and the local authority is in talks about a joint development.