NTR could float some subsidiary businesses

NTR could consider the possibility of publicly floating some of its subsidiary businesses over the long-term, in a bid to raise further funds.

Speaking after the group’s annual general meeting in Dublin yesterday, chief executive Jim Barry said that while a public listing wouldn’t suit NTR on a group basis, at the moment, the board could be open to floating part of the business on a subsidiary level at some point in the future. Although he stressed nothing of that sort is planned for the foreseeable future.

NTR’s shares – which were trading at around €2.50 yesterday – trade via the grey market.

The group’s core business is now in the renewable energy and waste management areas and its subsidiaries include solar energy firm, Sterling Energy Systems (SES), bio-ethanol company, Green Plains Renewable Energy and waste management firm, Greenstar.

Mr Barry said yesterday that one of the biggest challenges facing the group going forward will be accessing third party funding. “Funding will be very difficult, but we stand a better chance than many companies, given our asset base,” he added.

He said that the bulk of ongoing funding will continue to be sought on a subsidiary level, rather than by the group as a whole.

Indeed, NTR’s Greenstar Ireland off-shoot yesterday announced the successful refinancing of its debt facilities to the tune of €120 million.

Mr Barry said that the funds would help the company maintain its market share and “respond to opportunities arising from the potential consolidation of the Irish waste management market”.

While he refused to comment on Greenstar’s specific acquisition outlook, Mr Barry hinted that bolt-on buys could be on the agenda, by saying organic growth could be difficult in the current climate.

Mr Barry also told shareholders that while NTR will continue to focus on its existing sectors of interest, it will continue to monitor new opportunities such as tidal energy, although it won’t be investing in it during the short-to-medium term.


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