‘No provision for redundancy, holiday pay or pensions’
‘Entirely legal under Government’s watch, but sharp practice’
Sligo News File Online
The sale of Clerys, which has resulted in the loss of 400 jobs, was raised in the Dail today by the Sinn Fein Leader, Gerry Adams.
Stating that current legislation needed to be amended, and asking if the Taoiseach would support a bill to that end published by party TD, Peader Toibin, Adams highlighted the history of dealings surrounding the sale of the company.
He said that Boston based vulture capitalists, Gordon Brothers, purchased Clerys in 2012 for what was believed to be a sum of €12 million.
“The sale was made possible because Bank of Ireland wrote off €10 million of Clerys debts and lent the same amount to Gordon Brothers. In July 2013, 80 staff were let go at Clerys, whereas it is believed Gordon Brothers received €14 million in insurance moneys for flood damage.
“Gordon Brothers separated Clerys’ retail business from its property assets by setting up two firms, OCS Operations and OCS Properties, before selling the latter for €29 million to Natrium Limited last week. Natrium Limited was only incorporated on 27 May as a vehicle for the purchase of Clerys’ assets. It is a joint venture between Cheney Capital Management and D2 Private.
“A senior executive at Cheney Capital Management is a former NAMA executive. D2 Private is run by a former KPMG employee. KPMG is also the special liquidator of Clerys.
“The Taoiseach will recall that KPMG also featured in the IBRC scandal and the sale of that bank’s assets. Clerys’ retail business, now OCS Operations, was placed in liquidation before the property assets were sold off.
“There was no provision made for redundancy, holiday pay or other staff related costs such as pensions. There is no fairness for employees and concession holders. This is entirely legal under the Government’s watch, but it is also sharp practice.
“It is clear that the legislation needs to be amended. Deputy Peadar Tóibín has published a Bill to that effect. Will the Taoiseach support it?” he asked.