Mr Flavin will undertake a review of the company’s various activities, which also includes healthcare products and food distribution, that could lead to a sale of some of its assets.
The company has annual sales of around €3.5 billion, with the bulk of this generated from its oil and IT equipment distribution businesses. It is also involved in the environmental sectors with waste treatment and recycling companies and the healthcare and food industries. DCC has its 49% stake in the housebuilder Manor Park up for sale in a move that could net it €300 million.
DCC did not say yesterday if the review would lead to a break-up of the entire business but in a statement the company said the review was being undertaken to “ensure that it is best positioned for sustainable long-term growth”.
Mr Flavin, who founded DCC in 1976 as a venture capital company when he left AIB, will succeed veteran chairman Alex Spain in June for a three-year period.
Over Mr Flavin’s tenure, DCC has changed from a venture capital firm to one of the largest companies on the Irish stock market.
He was also involved in two infamous court cases over that time: the battle for control of Irish Distillers and when he successfully fought off an €85m insider dealing action brought against DCC by Fyffes.
Tommy Breen, DCC’s chief operating officer, will become managing director and focus on “day-to-day operational matters” with Mr Flavin working on strategic decisions.
Although investors usually prefer chief executives not to move into the chairman’s role, DCC said it had secured the backing of its major shareholders and the Irish Association of Investment Managers for the change.
Meanwhile, it was announced that former IDA chief executive Kieran McGowan will become chairman of building materials giant CRH.
Mr McGowan will replace Pat Molloy, who retires as chairman in May.