Roadbridge receivership followed failed rescue takeover talks

Seen & Heard: Receiver appointed over dozen Ronan properties, Signify Health to create 125 jobs

The slide by Roadbridge, one of the country's biggest civil engineering and construction firms, into receivership last week followed on from a collapse in rescue takeover talks with O'Connor Utilities, a UK white knight investor, according to the Sunday Times.

The company, founded in Limerick by the late Pat Mulcair in the 1960s, employs 630 people in Ireland, the UK and Sweden, and is involved in some of the biggest infrastructural road, energy and water projects in Ireland the UK and Europe.

Bank of Ireland, the Limerick-group's main lender, appointed receivers on Friday. O'Connor Utilities and a separate private equity suitor had held talks on a takeover of Roadbridge in recent months, but the complexity of the group, which has up to €900 million of contracts, proved a hurdle to doing a deal, the newspaper said.

PCH founder seeks to play rescue broker for Slendertone maker

Cork businessman Liam Casey, founder of PCH International, the contract design and manufacturing group that has its operational headquarters in China, has emerged as a potential broker of a rescue deal for the maker of the Slendertone and Fitbelt slimming aids, according to the Sunday Times.

The newspaper reported, citing court documents, that Mr Casey has introduced Slendertone maker Bio-Medical Research (BMR), which had an interim examiner appointed to it by the High Court last week, to potential investors and that talks are ongoing. BMR and its parent company employ 60 people, most of them based at the Galway plant.

The lossmaking company, which has sold more than 10 million devices worldwide, faces a balance sheet shortfall of €15 million. An independent expert report filed with the examinership application said it was in talks with five potential investors.

Receiver appointed over dozen Ronan properties

A receiver has been appointed over a dozen properties within Johnny Ronan’s real-estate group, arising from €142 million of borrowings to UK investment group M&G Investments, which helped fund the developer’s exit from Nama in 2015, according to the Business Post.

However, Ronan Group Real Estate told the newspaper that refinancing arrangements are at an advanced stage and these would enable the receivers to be discharged and the group to retain ownership of the properties. The properties include Connaught House and Percy Place in Dublin 4, the historic Bewleys Café building on Grafton Street, and a Paris mansion that previously housed the private banking headquarters of BNP Paribas.

Signify Health to create 125 jobs in Galway

New York-listed Signify Health, a technology company that supports in-home care and provides care management services, plans to open a new technology centre in Galway, which is expected to lead to the creation of more than 125 jobs over two years, according to the Sunday Independent.

The US company was founded five years ago and has a market value of over $4 billion (€3.67 billion). It is focused on the US healthcare system.