Belfast Telegraph

Irish Pride executive takes receivers to court over his job

By John Mulligan

A senior executive at Irish Pride Bakeries in the Republic is fighting a decision by receivers to terminate his role in the business.

Conor Brennan is the business development director at Irish Pride, which is being sold to Pat the Baker. The bakery has distribution centres in Dublin, Cork, Limerick, Kilkenny, Letterkenny, Castleisland, Galway and Armagh.

It's believed receivers moved to make Mr Brennan redundant during the summer and he took legal action to prevent that. He secured an interim injunction in August preventing his termination and his case will be heard today.

Court records show that Mr Brennan secured the injunction on August 24, just over two weeks after the sale to Pat the Baker was confirmed, and he continues to be employed at Irish Pride. Irish Pride went into receivership in June. It had been sold for a reported €6m (£4.5m) by investment group One51 in 2014 to WHW Bakeries, controlled by Dublin-based investors Garret and William Lloyd.

KPMG receivers Kieran Wallace and Shane McCarthy put the business up for sale in the summer and received a number of bids.

Kieran Wallace declined to comment on the case being taken by Mr Brennan, while solicitors for Mr Brennan weren't contactable yesterday.

Longford-based firm Pat the Baker emerged as the eventual buyer of the troubled firm. It acquired an Irish Pride plant in Taghmon, Co Wexford, that employs about 250 people. That plant will remain open.

However, Pat the Baker has acquired the equipment, and not the site, of the Irish Pride plant in Ballinrobe, Co Mayo, which is closing. Irish Pride makes 15,500 deliveries of wrapped bread and soft rolls to retailers across Ireland every week.

The planned acquisition has been referred to the Republic's Competition and Consumer Protection. The acquisition will seal Pat the Baker's position as one of the country's biggest bakers.

Pat the Baker already employs 400 people, directly and indirectly.

Belfast Telegraph