Ir­ish Times Ausi­ness Per­son of the Month for Septem­ber

The Irish Times - Business - - BUSINESS | NEWS -

State forestry com­pany chief ex­ec­u­tive Fer­gal Leamy has been cho­sen as The Ir­ish Times Busi­ness Per­son of the Month for Septem­ber, an award run in as­so­ci­a­tion with KPMG.

Coillte sold its stake in four wind farms to Dublin-listed Green­coat Re­new­ables for €136 mil­lion early in Septem­ber, beat­ing a tar­get price of €125 mil­lion that the State com­pany set for the as­sets when it put them on the mar­ket in March. Green­coat agreed to buy Coillte’s 50 per cent stakes in wind farms at Ra­heen­leagh, Co Wick­low; Cloosh Val­ley, Co Gal­way; and Castle­pool, Co Cork;, and 25 per cent of Sli­abh Bawn wind farm, Co Roscom­mon. Be­tween them, they can gen­er­ate up to 105 megawatts (MW) of elec­tric­ity. Coillte has in­vested €25 mil­lion in the wind farms over the last four years. In­clud­ing the debt used to fund their de­vel­op­ment, the deal put a com­bined “en­ter­prise value” of €281 mil­lion on the busi­nesses. Div­i­dend paid Af­ter con­firm­ing the deal, Mr Leamy con­firmed that the State would share in the wind­fall as Coillte planned to in­crease the div­i­dend paid to the Gov­ern­ment next year as a re­sult of the sale. Mr Leamy took over as chief ex­ec­u­tive of Coillte in 2015. He joined from pri­vate eq­uity firm, Terra Firma, where he was chief ex­ec­u­tive of an Aus­tralian port­fo­lio busi­ness, Con­sol­i­dated Pas­toral Com­pany. Be­fore that he worked with Ir­ish food group, Green­core, in the US and pre­vi­ously with con­sul­tants, McKin­sey & Co. He is a grad­u­ate of Uni­ver­sity Col­lege Dublin and IMD Busi­ness School in Switzer­land.

IL­LUS­TRA­TION: PAUL RYDING

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