Former Quinn executives seek deal
A consortium including some executives from Sean Quinn's defunct business empire expect to secure a deal to buy two divisions of the old business over the next two months.
The Quinn Business Retention Company (QBRC), headed by the former tycoon's number two Liam McCaffrey, has teamed up with a UK private equity house Endless LLP for the arrangement.
Aventas Manufacturing Group, which took over much of the Quinn businesses along the border after it was put in receivership, said talks on the buyout are ongoing.
The deal is for all of the former Quinn manufacturing operations in Derrylin, Co Fermanagh and Ballyconnell, Co Cavan and one in Granard, Co Longford - including cement, tarmac, roof tiles, blocks and packaging.
Those behind the deal say between 650 and 800 jobs will be protected in the group and another 2,500 jobs in the border region rely on the Quinn businesses.
It is expected to be finalised before the end of September.
The value of the deal will not be released but it is running to tens of millions, the business consortium said.
Liam McCaffrey, chief executive QBRC, said returning to businesses he has worked in is an exciting move.
"We are delighted to have reached an agreement with Aventas for the acquisition of the Construction Industry Supplies (CIS) and packaging businesses and are excited with the prospect of returning to these businesses that we have previously worked in and managed," he said.
"We will work with Aventas to facilitate stability in the local community that will enable Aventas to achieve its corporate objectives."
A period of examination of company accounts, due diligence, will take place over the next few months.
The old Quinn industries were hit by scores of attacks, including vandalism, intimidation and arson, in the border region since receivers were appointed three years ago, over debts to the former Anglo Irish Bank, and the Aventas Group moved in.
Paul O'Brien, chief executive of Aventas Manufacturing Group, said: "We are pleased to have reached an agreement in principle with QBRC and Endless LLP.
"We wish them every success and look forward now to focusing on our remaining business and realising further value for our investors."
Aventas will continue to own and operate its glass, plastics and radiator businesses.
In a statement the company cautioned that there is no certainty that a transaction will be concluded.
The QBRC consortium involves three local businessmen John McCartin, a Fine Gael councillor who leads Newtowngore Engineering, John Bosco O'Hagan, managing director of the Specialist Joinery Group, and Ernie Fisher, former managing director of Fisher Engineering.
Mr McCartin said no member of the Quinn family is involved in the deal but Sean Quinn is aware of it.
Former senior Quinn staff in the QBRC include the group's ex-chief financial officer Dara O'Reilly and development officer Kevin Lunny.
A number of former middle management staff at the group are also involved in the consortium.
QBRC said the businesses are very important to the local economy.
Councillor and director Mr McCartin said: "We appreciate the support that we have received from many quarters in our endeavours since we disclosed our interest in acquiring these businesses.
"We are delighted with the prospect of returning to these businesses and continuing the tradition of growth and development established by the Quinn Group and its workforce over the last four decades."