One51 set to bid for ICG within days

WITH the deadline set by the Irish Takeover Panel just a day off, One51, and its consortium partner the Doyle Group of Cork, is expected to announce a bid for ICG within days.

It was expected that an offer for the business would have emerged by now, but it is understood that the final touches to a definite offer from the group is close to being finalised.

Whether it will meet the Takeover Panel deadline of June 13 remains to be seen, but a bid is almost certain by Friday.

One51 and Doyle Group emerged as potential counter bidders to buy ICG (Irish Continental Group) which operates Irish Ferries, and roll on/roll off services for importers and exporters.

Earlier the management of ICG, led by Eamonn Rothwell had tabled an €18.50 per share offer to buy the group. That valued the business at 471m, including debt of 100m.

After building up a stake of over 20% in the ferry business One51 led by Philip Lynch indicated it was likely to bid for the business at a price not less than €20.51, which pushed the value of the group well above €500m.

Nothing has been heard form the MBO team in the meantime. In effect their hands were tied until the counter bidders made known their position.

At the time Mr Rothwell said the MBO team had upped its offer price from €17.50 to €18.50 following pressure form the independent directors of the company. It is not clear if the MBO team has the financial backing to engage the consortium in a bidding war, if a counter offer emerges.

Much of the comment has been on the valuable 33 acres ICG has in Dublin’s dockland, but neither One51 nor the Doyle Group, are stressing the property angle of the deal.

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