One51 to proceed with flotation plan

Plastics group One51 is to press ahead with its original plans for a stock exchange listing, confirming prospects of a trade sale to private equity firm CapVest have ended. The group will put the flotation plan to a shareholder vote early next month along with its plan to change the name of the business to IPL Plastics, writes Geoff Percival.

Details of the EGM on December 6 were announced yesterday, along with One51 confirming that talks with private equity house CapVest Partners had come to nothing and were now off the table.

Early last month, One51 received what it called an “indicative and conditional approach” from CapVest — which is based in London, but headed by Co Cavan man Seamus Fitzpatrick — valuing the group at €2.50 per share.

“All discussions in relation to this indicative approach have now been terminated, and One51 confirms that it is no longer in talks in relation to a possible offer,” the group said.

One51 pulled initial plans to float early last year after opposition from its investor base at the time. Since then, Canadian fund manager Caisse de dépot et placement du Québec has become the Dublin group’s largest shareholder after acquiring financier Dermot Desmond’s 25% stake. One51 took a €2.7m costs hit from the shelved flotation.

Depending on market conditions, One 51 is likely to float during 2018, with the Toronto Stock Exchange the most likely home for its shares; although a secondary listing on this side of the Atlantic has not been ruled out at a later date.

One51 has a large presence and investor base in Canada via its majority ownership of packaging company IPL, which has also been used as a springboard into the US market. Caisse de dépot et placement du Québec is fully supportive of the flotation — and the necessary reorganisation of the group’s capital structure in order to allow for a stock market flotation — which is likely to please One 51’s Irish co-op shareholder base.

IPL is the holding company of One51’s North American plastics operations. It is currently held as 67% by One51 and 33% by Caisse de dépot et placement du Québec and FSTQ, a Canadian development capital fund. Under the capital restructuring, the latter two parties would exchange their equity stakes in IPL for One51 shares.

In August, One51’s management said a stock market listing would provide investors with a liquid market for their shares and facilitate the group in raising further equity to support its growth plans, adding that a flotation was worth exploring on the back of the group’s “significant progress”.

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