Collins Stewart to rescue ISTC in buyout

BRITISH investment bank Collins Stewart is to buy struggling lender International Securities Trading Corporation (ISTC) in a €5 million rescue deal.

Last night ISTC said Collins Stewart would acquire 100% of the company.

This will wipe out the holdings of ISTC’s existing investors, who are rumoured to include well-known businesspeople Denis O’Brien, Smurfit boss Gary McGann, Anglo Irish Bank chairman Seán FitzPatrick, property developer Paddy Kelly and billionaire tycoon Seán Quinn.

ISTC was out into examinership last November after becoming one of the most high-profile victims of the credit crunch. The High Court- appointed examiner John McStay has been working on finding a new investor for ISTC since then. Without fresh investment ISTC, which raises money in international markets and lends this capital to banks, faced collapse with liabilities of €870m.

The scheme of arrangement will require the approval of the ISTC’s creditors and the High Court.

ISTC said in addition to the €5m being invested by Collins Stewart it plans to raise further capital from existing creditors and shareholders.

It said the investment by Collins Stewart put the company in “position to rebuild its business in the future”.

Chief executive Tiarnan O’Mahoney added: “Under the circumstances we face, and given the extraordinarily difficult market environment, approval of the scheme will represent the optimum outcome for ISTC, particularly for creditors, investors and staff.”

The move to seek the High Court approval was prompted when a German Bank demanded a repayment of the €176,000 it was owed or it would seek to have ISTC wound up.

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