Court challenge launched against PTSB capital plans

A High Court challenge has been launched against plans by Permanent TSB to raise €400m through a share placing to institutional investors ahead of listings on the London and Dublin stock exchanges.

The action has been brought after the institution, which is 99.2% owned by the State, this week announced plans to raise the funds as part of the overall intention to return PTSB to private ownership.

Arising out of the proposals, three shareholders of the company — Gerard Dowling, Padraig McManus, and Piotr Skoczylas— have launched actions seeking various injunctions, including one preventing the Irish Stock Exchange from allowing any new shares issued as a result of the €400m share issue in the company.

They also seek an injunction restraining the company from issuing new ordinary shares to raise €400m for the purpose of repaying the finance minister in respect of a contingent bond which is due for redemption in July 2016, until certain steps are taken.

They also want the High Court to restrain the company from completing the sales of non-core assets, which it announced last month, until the sales are approved by a general meeting of PTSB Group Holdings.

The proceedings are against Permanent TSB Group Holdings plc, as well as all members of the company’s board, including chief executive Jeremy Masding, and the Irish Stock Exchange plc.

The matter came before Mr Justice Paul Gilligan yesterday, who granted the shareholders permission to serve short service of proceedings against the respondents. He made the application, on an ex parte basis, returnable to a date next week.

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