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Why Arnotts now owes you €37.02

Brussels gives the green light to the takeover. Arnotts now owes you €37.
Aug 10th 2010, 9:43 AM 370 0

TAXPAYERS IN BRITAIN AND IRELAND have taken majority control of the Arnotts department store after the European Commission gave its approval to the proposed takeover of the store.

Arnotts owes approximately €300m to Anglo Irish Bank and Ulster Bank, with state-owned Anglo claiming about 55% of the debt – meaning that the store owes about €37 to every man, woman and child in the state.

With Ulster Bank owned by Royal Bank of Scotland, which in itself is in public ownership in Britain, the remaining 45% of the company is now under British state control, with the company owing about €2.19 to each person resident within the UK.

The Commission yesterday gave the takeover its approval, saying the takeover would not impede fair retail competition.

Leading retail specialist Mark Schwartz, chief executive of Palladin Capital Group, is expected to be appointed chairman of the store’s new board, having worked closely with both the banks and the store in the last months.

The banks will likely make their appointments to the board in the coming weeks.

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In a statement issued by Anglo last night the banks said they were “committed to Arnotts” and that they would not meddle in the day-to-day management of the store.

“They will not be involved in the management of the company but are taking the necessary steps to ensure that the company will be run by experienced professionals in the best long term interests of the staff, suppliers and importantly, its customers,” they said.

The trade union Mandate says it looks forward to working with the store’s new management.

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Gavan Reilly

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