Businessman takes over as sole owner of Manor Park

BUSINESSMAN Joe Moran has taken sole ownership of housebuilder Manor Park after buying out minority shareholder DCC.

DCC, which had owned 49% of Manor Park — the owner of Kinsealy, the estate owned by the late Taoiseach Charlie Haughey — will get a total of €181 million from the sale.

DCC is being paid a dividend of €172m from Manor Park following a capital reorganisation of the company and a further €9m from Mr Moran’s firm Morvest.

DCC and Mr Moran agreed in February this year to put Manor Park up for sale. It had been expected at that given the buoyant property market at the time that Manor Park would fetch up to €700m.

However, the slump in the residential housing market has soured interest in the company and Mr Moran is to take 100% ownership. Yesterday’s deal with DCC would imply a value of about €400m on the company.

Shares in DCC were trading almost 6% higher yesterday at €19.50 following confirmation of the deal and on speculation by analysts that the company will return the cash to its shareholders.

NCB analyst John Sheehan said: “DCC last repurchased stock at €17.90 per share in mid-2006 and we estimate that a 10% buyback at the current price would add 7% to [earnings per share] in a full year.”

DCC said the dividend and the proceeds of the sale to Mr Moran “considerably strengthens DCC’s financial capacity to pursue continuing growth and development in its core businesses, both organically and by acquisition”.

A statement from DCC said: “Manor Park has been a highly successful investment for DCC in partnership with Joe Moran, who has led the company very capably as chairman since its formation in 1979. Manor Park has a large land-bank for housing development and other significant development projects in the pipeline.”

DCC originally paid just €55,000 in 1979 and said it will record an exceptional profit in its accounts of €95m on the sale.

Mr Moran is one of Ireland’s best known businessmen.

The 72-year-old started his business career in the dairy industry in Kerry before going on to form Irish Wire Products, which he built into a significant stock exchange listed company.

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