ICG shares plunge 23% as takeover bid fails to happen

SHARES in ferry and freight services business, Irish Continental Group (ICG) plummeted by over 23% yesterday, after a much anticipated takeover offer for the company failed to materialise.

The “Moonduster” bidding consortium — comprising Philip Lynch’s One-51 investment vehicle, the Cork-based Doyle Shipping Group and ICG’s chief executive Eamonn Rothwell — had been given a final deadline of 9am yesterday to come up with an offer. The deadline — granted by the Irish Takeover Panel — had been extended to give the interested party more time in which to finalise funding arrangements with a number of banks including AIB, Bank of Ireland and Bank of Scotland (Ireland).

However, Moonduster said yesterday it was forced to inform the board of independent directors at ICG that its bid would not be forthcoming. The result of that is that none of the interested parties involved can legally make an approach for ICG for at least another 12 months.

In a statement made yesterday, the consortium said that “despite best efforts, over several months, it was not possible to bring forward an acceptable offer in the current economic climate and difficult funding environment. Accordingly, Moonduster and any parties acting in concert with it will not be proceeding with an offer for ICG.”

The other immediate result from yesterday’s non-events saw ICG’s share price plunge by more than €3 — or just over 23% — yesterday to close the day at a price of €10.10.


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