The question is, why has Denis O’Brien sold Topaz now?

Couche-Tard will be significant force in Irish market

Topaz recently got  clearance to buy Esso for €75 million. Photograph: David Sleator/The Irish Times

Topaz recently got clearance to buy Esso for €75 million. Photograph: David Sleator/The Irish Times

Topaz, which has been sold to Canadian company Couche-Tard, came under the control of businessman Denis O’Brien in December 2013, when he bought loans attached to the business from the IBRC liquidator. The loans were valued at just over €300 million and Mr O’Brien reportedly paid around €150 million for them, following a tender process in which his bid emerged as the winner. Mr O’Brien was previously a minority shareholder in Topaz.

There has been considerable investment in the stores in the meantime and the purchase price by Couche-Tard has not been revealed, so it is matter of speculation how the financial calculus works out for Mr O’Brien.

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