DCC joins markets

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DCC, Ireland's biggest industrial holding group, is joining the stock markets in London and Dublin via a simultaneous placing of new equity that will value the company at about pounds 200m, writes Russell Hotten.

The listing, planned for May or June, is expected to raise less than pounds 25m. Jim Flavin, chief executive, said the objective was not to raise money but to get a listing for DCC's 40 institutional shareholders and to widen the investor base in London. 'The strength of the balance sheet is such that we have no capital-raising needs,' he said.

DCC was founded by Mr Flavin in 1976 as a venture capital company, but began its evolution into a holding group in 1990. Its interests include 80 per cent of Kelkin, an Irish food company, 11 per cent of Fyffes bananas, 60 per cent of Flogas, the energy company, and 75 per cent of Printech, the printing group. It also has investments in computers and health care.

Estimates put DCC's turnover in the year to 31 March at Ir pounds 330m, down Ir pounds 15m, with taxable profits of Ir pounds 21.3m, against Ir pounds 14.9m. About 54 per cent of profits are made in Ireland, with 45 per cent in the UK and 1 per cent elsewhere. Mr Flavin said he was looking at acquisitions in Continental Europe.

The directors own 5 per cent of the shares, with Mr Flavin holding 2.64 per cent. He said neither the directors nor institutions were sellers.