Dukes says Woodhouse played no part in Siteserv sale

‘Mislaid’ minutes show IBRC executive managing O’Brien’s loans attended meeting

Former chairman of the Irish Bank Resolution Corporation (IBRC) Alan Dukes said the head of asset management at the bank played no part in the decision-making process around the sale of Siteserv.

Former chairman of the Irish Bank Resolution Corporation (IBRC) Alan Dukes said the head of asset management at the bank played no part in the decision-making process around the sale of Siteserv.

 

The former chairman of the Irish Bank Resolution Corporation (IBRC) Alan Dukes has said the head of asset management at the bank played no part in the decision-making process around the sale of Siteserv.

Mr Dukes said head of specialised asset management Richard Woodhouse, who managed Mr O’Brien’s loans with IBRC, attended the board meeting on March 15th, 2012 at which the sale of Siteserv was agreed but played no part in the decision-making process.

In a number of interviews, Mr Dukes and the former chief executive of the now defunct bank Mike Aynsley have said Mr Woodhouse had been excluded from the process to sell Siteserv to a company owned by business Denis O’Brien as he was the person in the bank responsible for Mr O’Brien, a performing client and potential bidder.

The minutes of the IRBC board meeting from March 2012 show Mr Woodhouse was present at the meeting and contributed.

The minutes were released this week after the Department of Finance discovered it had possession of the files, after earlier saying it had never received them.

It has led to several opposition politicians, including Independent TD Catherine Murphy, Peader Tóibín of Sinn Féin, and Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin saying there were inconsistencies between the minutes and what Mr Dukes and Mr Aynsley have previously stated.

Mr Dukes has told The Irish Times Mr Woodhouse played no role in the process to sell Siteserv but was at the board meeting as head of that section of the bank.

He said Mr Woodhouse had confirmed two details in relation to the sale, one of which was a confirmation from an outside agency, Virgo Capital, that the process had been fair.

He had also answered a query in relation to Robert Dix, a non-executive director of Siteserv.

“Richard Woodhouse was kept out of the decision and the preparation of Siteserv for sale.

“He was at the board meeting as there were two items on the agenda proposed by the bit of the bank of which he was head.

“His intervention at the board meeting was to say he had confirmation from Virgo Capital that the sale process was fair,” he said.

Mr Woodhouse, who was not a member of the board, also responded to a query from a board member about Robert Dix, an independent non-executive director of Siteserv, who had chaired a subcommittee of the Siteserv board to handle the sale.

Mr Woodhouse had outline Mr Dix’s role in the sale and it was also noted, according to the minutes, that he was a director of Quinn Republic of Ireland, the company formerly controlled by Sean Quinn that had been taken over by IRBC.

A governance committee at the bank had appointed Mr Dix to the role.

In an interview in the Sunday Business Post on the sale of Siteserv, Mr Aynsley said the bank had drawn specific comfort from the processes it had put in place and the personnel decisions that had been made.

This had included the appointment of Mr Dix and the appointment of Walter Hobbs as the bank’s independent representative.

This, said Mr Aynsley, provided oversight of other key advisers such as KPMG Corporate Finance and Davy Stockbrokers, appointed by the company.

He had also referred to the exclusion of Mr Wodehouse from the process, as well as the decision to allow an executive, Tom Hunersun, take responsibility for the sale, and for the bank’s chief risk officer, Peter Rossiter, to oversee the transaction.