Belfast Telegraph

Care group's £2.5bn sale to land Irish backers windfall

By Gretchen Friemann and Donal O'Donovan

Dozens of well-heeled Irish investors, including members of well-established business and bloodstock families, are in line for a share of the potential £2.5bn sale of Barchester Healthcare.

The UK care home group, which has long been known to be backed by Dermot Desmond, John Magnier and JP McManus, this week appointed advisers to assess options including a possible sale.

Corporate filings for Barchester's Jersey-based parent company Grove Investments show a more extensive shareholder register that also includes the family behind Brennans Bread, former meat mogul Paschal Phelan and nominee companies for Davy and Goodbody stockbrokers.

The list at December 31, 2017 includes a number of trust companies, some of which are listed in Jersey.

Former Fine Gael TD Sean Barrett is listed as a shareholder. Like many of those on the register he has a long established interest in the horse racing industry - in his case through the Sean Barrett Bloodstock Insurances business.

Law firm William Fry also has a link to the register via Lower Mount Limited, a nominee vehicle set up to hold shares in trust for the firm's clients. Kilkenny based-businessman Chris McHugh is an ex-finance director at NCB Stockbrokers, which was acquired by Investec Ireland.

Entities linked to Dermot Desmond's IIU firm are on the register along with vehicles tied to Mr McManus and Mr Magnier, including the Swiss-registered vehicle Acomita.

The racing tycoons are joined by a number of other well-known personalities from the bloodstock industry, including John Nagle of Barronstown Stud, which was established in 1980 by renowned horse breeders David and Diane Nagle.

Grove's directors who hold shares include Eddie Irwin - the finance director of Coolmore Stud - and Barchester's founder and former CEO Mike Parsons. Dr Peter Calveley, who took over after Mr Parsons retired, also owns a stake in Grove.

Belfast Telegraph

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