ON Saturday week, November 29, it is hoped that the former Quinn Group, now Aventas, will be part owned and managed by a local consortium.
The purchase price, which has the backing of three wealthy US hedge funds, is estimated to be around £72m.
From that date, QBRC, led by the former Quinn Group chief executive, Liam McCaffrey, will be in charge of the group’s cement factories, quarries, tarmac, roof tile and insulating businesses as well as its packaging division.
The two departments employ some 650 staff.
Speaking to the Herald, Mr McCaffrey said ‘going home’ would mean a lot to him.
“I feel tremendous. I have worked in the business for 20 years, and some of my colleagues for that length of time or longer. We will just be delighted to be in business and, hopefully, making a contribution.”
As for a ‘local’ management touch, he said the Quinn Group business developed under local management was ‘very, very successful’.
“I think that the passion, commitment and drive that local management bring, not just from their own point of view, but to do something for the community is a huge motivational factor for all of the QBRC team.”
He said he believed the business the team, hopefully, will be taking over would perform well.
“It’s a good time in the economic cycle, particularly in the construction industry. I would be very optimistic about the performance of the business going forward.”
As for QBRC’s attitude towards the sale of the two glass plants (it is not a bidder), Mr McCaffrey felt that non-executive QBRC members would be working very hard to achieve the right result for the sale.
This week, Aventas confirmed that all outstanding items had been agreed and the drafting of the final legal documentation was nearing completion.
Its statement added: “All parties will work to facilitate the QBRC management team taking over the running of the business from the week-end of 29th November.”
The Aventas statement also revealed that the sale process for the group’s two glass manufacturing plants, at Derrylin and in Cheshire, had begun.
The two plants employ 1,000 people in total.
Rebranded as ‘Encirc’ in May of this year, the two state of the art plants represent the largest asset left in the group, following on from the recent €25m sale of Quinn Radiators and, now, the CIS and packaging business.
The Derrylin plant makes glass containers for the catering/licensed trade market and is the exclusive global manufacturer of Bailey’s Irish Cream bottles.
The Cheshire plant additionally bottles various leading brands of wines and spirits instead of shipping the bottles out to the distilleries.
It is thought the bidders do not include any party with significant glass interests in Ireland or the UK, thereby removing any possibility of competition issues preventing a sale.
The sale is expected to be agreed by the end of the year, or next January at the latest.
A spokesman for Aventas confirmed that the QBRC non-executive board members will be engaging with all stakeholders to ensure an environment with the objective of achieving a sale to a financially strong buyer.
The spokesman added that, once completed, a new natural gas pipeline which will serve the Derrylin area will improve the cost effectiveness of the plant.
“In turn, this will help support and sustain its long-term future.”
Meanwhile, the Fermanagh South Tyrone Westminster MP, Sinn Fein MP, Michelle Gildernew, described the CIS/packaging takeover as, ‘a great boost to the local area’, the employees and their families.
“The fact that QBRC is made up of a group of former executives of the Quinn Group and are local to the area is also encouraging.
“It not only means that these business personnel are familiar with the company and that the employees are familiar with them, but it also supports the local economy.”
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