Fitzgerald pub family toasts €66.4m restructuring windfall

The Fitzgerald family, which controls some of the best-known pubs in the country, has booked a dividend windfall of €66.45m.

Fitzgerald pub family toasts €66.4m restructuring windfall

The payout — detailed in the accounts for the family’s Ocsas Holdings vehicle — arose from the restructuring of the family’s business, which saw the hiving off of some of its best known pubs to a separate entity, Velves Ltd.

These included Dublin pubs the Big Tree, Kehoe’s, and the Quays, and the Louis Fitzgerald Hotel on Naas Rd.

On the back of the restructuring, Ocsas Holdings last year booked a profit of €46m.

The Ocsas business is owned by a Fitzgerald vehicle, Cregagh Investments, and the shareholders of that firm in line for the €66.45m dividend are listed as Louis Fitzgerald, Helen Fitzgerald, Edward Fitzgerald, and Louise Fitzgerald.

The Fitzgeralds’ net gain from the dividend pay-out is not known, as the costs to the overall group of the restructuring are not disclosed as consolidated accounts for Velves Ltd are not yet available.

As a result of its slimmed- down nature, revenues at Ocsas last year halved from €56.58m to €28.5m. Its operating profit decreased by 45% to €4.47m.

The numbers employed by the group last year reduced from 674 to 331. That includes 305 bar staff, 21 bar managers, and five in administration.

The accounts show that the company’s employment costs reduced from €14.32m to €7.6m.

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