Simon Pratt ‘to remain in charge’ after any Avoca takeover

The managing director of Avoca Simon Pratt yesterday confirmed negotiations are progressing well on the sale of the business.

The Avoca business is one of Ireland’s best known brands and has been developed by the Pratt family over the past 40 years.

Speculation has been mounting in recent months over the sale of Avoca and asked yesterday on the rumoured potential sale of the business, Mr Pratt replied: “Negotiations are ongoing and continue to progress well.”

He was speaking as new accounts just filed by Avoca with the Companies Office show that the company’s pre-tax profits last year increased by 67% to €2.6m as revenues increased by 2% to €58.84m.

Mr Pratt confirmed that in the event of a sale that he, along with “brother Ivan, sister, Vanessa and parents and all senior staff will be staying on to manage the business”.

Simon Pratt along with sister, Amanda, who left the firm last year to pursue new interests, and brother, Ivan each have a 23.5% share in the business while sister Vanessa has a 12% share with parents Donald and Hillary each having their own 9% share.

All will share in a multi-million windfall if the sale goes through.

A note attached to the accounts states: “Following quite a number of expressions of interest and approaches to Avoca from outside parties, Avoca has had conversations with some of these parties regarding a possible investment.”

The note continues: “The company has not entered into any agreement with any party at this time, and will continue to evaluate options which are considered to be in the best interests of the company.”

Asked to comment on the view that the sale of Avoca to a larger company would not be good for the Avoca brand, Mr Pratt said: “There are great things about family businesses but they can have their limitations too.

“Any possible new owner will be determined that all the positive aspects of Avoca, our products, services and great staff are maintained.

“They will be aware some people will say a big company can’t keep the attention to detail and passion that is necessary and they will be doubly determined that the Avoca brand is enhanced and allowed to fly. They will want the business to grow in a way that thrills our customers old and new.”


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