Belfast Telegraph

Spanish firm pays £316m for former Quinn Glass business

By Staff Reporter

The former Quinn Glass business - once owned by Co Fermanagh one-time tycoon Sean Quinn - has been sold to Spanish firm Vidrala in a €408.6m (£316m) deal.

Around 1,000 workers are based at the Encirc plant in Derrylin, Co Fermanagh, and it runs another plant in Cheshire.

Encirc, formerly known as Quinn Glass, has annual revenues of nearly £257m and contracts with drinks firms such as Diageo and Britvic.

Paul O'Brien, the head of Quinn owner Aventas, said: "We are pleased to have completed the sale to Vidrala, a company with the ability and expertise to continue to invest in Encirc which has acquired an international reputation for both product quality and service excellence".

Once Ireland's richest man, Mr Quinn lost control of his businesses in 2011 as part of his ongoing battle with Anglo Irish Bank.

A group of banks and lenders took over control of Quinn Group, before rebranding as Aventas in 2013.

Aventas' takeover sparked opposition and sabotage attempts which are believed to have been carried out by supporters of the old Quinn regime in the area.

It's been selling off parts of the business since the takeover, including a deal in October last year in which Quinn Radiators was sold to RHP Bidco.

Last week Aventas dismissed what it claimed was "misleading and inaccurate" information circulating in the area about the disposal of Encirc.

It said that there had been five formal bids for the business, including the offer from a preferred bidder, which turned out to be Vidrala.

But it said there had been no formal bid from any business in the area, and also moved to quell fears of job losses.

Aventas said last week: "The preferred bidder is a family-controlled business which has been in the glass industry for 50 years.

"During that time they have made a number of acquisitions and have never closed a plant.

"They own multiple plants across Europe but no operations in Ireland or Britain which is why both plants in Encirc are such an important acquisition for them."

Mr Quinn was discharged as a bankrupt by an Irish court this week.

Last year a consortium of businesspeople from the area named the Quinn Business Retention Company made a successful bid for the packaging and construction branches of the Quinn empire.

The consortium is made up of allies of Quinn, who have said Mr Quinn will be an advisor in the new business.

Belfast Telegraph