The Labour leader said she wants the details to be published as opposition TDs called for the release of the Siteserv share register — which will explain who bought the shares and when — and for the stock exchange to open an investigation into the matter.
Details revealed at the weekend show there was a sudden upsurge in share sales in the month before the Irish Bank Resolution Corporation (IBRC) began to receive the first bids for Siteserv as part of a confidential sale process.
In November 2011, 6.4m shares were sold in the firm, compared to 121,000 in October 2011, and 4.76m between January and October the same year.
When Siteserv was sold in March 2012, the 3.9c share price was 292% higher than that of January 13, 2012, the day before the potential sale of the company was confirmed to the stock exchange.
As a result of the 3.9c share price, shareholders received a €5m payout.
Speaking at the launch of Labour’s marriage equality referendum campaign, Ms Burton said she wants “all of the relevant information” about the sale to be put into the public domain.
Asked whether the share register should be published in light of the weekend revelations, she said: “I want to see all of the relevant information made available and published. Finance Minister Michael Noonan has appointed the liquidators to deal and actually address those issues.
“If there are further inquiries required to address specific issues, then I’m perfectly happy to see that happening in the most appropriate format.
“If that data and information [related to share sales in the month before the deal] is available, because I presume the transactions were through the stock exchange, we may need some information on where that documentation has been.”
The shares issue is the latest chapter in a growing political drama concerning the Siteserv deal, which is threatening to engulf the Government three years after it took place.
The controversy follows previous information that other companies made larger offers to IBRC for Siteserv than the Denis O’Brien-owned Millington group which purchased the company; and other matters, including concern over why the €5m shareholders pay-outs took place and why the accepted offer effectively meant IBRC wrote off €105m in loans to Siteserv.
It has also emerged that Department of Finance officials had concerns about the deal, a point rounded on by former IBRC chairman and Fine Gael leader Alan Dukes last Friday.
While these are now the subject of a Government-backed investigation by IBRC’s special liquidators Kieran Wallace and Eamonn Richardson into 30 company sales by the bank above €10m, which is due to be completed by the end of August, opposition TDs have voiced their concerns over whether it can be impartial due to previous business interactions.
Responding to the latest developments last night, Independent TD Catherine Murphy — who was the first person to raise concerns over the Siteserv deal — questioned “why were people suddenly interested in buying shares in a company that was effectively bust” a month before offers were made to buy it.
Saying the share questions “need an investigation from the stock exchange”, she said: “We’ve been given the impression this was a complete basket case [of a company] and I wonder why people would chose to invest in a company with that kind of profile.”