One51 confirmed late last week that it sold its 4.4% stake in Dublin-based financial services group IFG, which is expected to raise 5.7m.
The proceeds of the sale will be used to reduce the groups current debt levels consistent with its strategy of de-leveraging the company and focusing on a more select group of core assets, principally its ClearCircle environmental business.
One51 is also in the process of selling its wholly-owned subsidiary Irish Pride, which is expected to fetch in excess of 20m.
It is also considering selling the groups British specialties plastics business. It was reported over the weekend that investment firm TVC Capital may be interested in making a bid for this firm and Pageant Holdings has also built up a sizable stake over recent weeks. Informed sources confirmed to the Irish Farmers Journal, however, that these are value investors and not hostile shareholders.
While One51s shares are trading at an all-time low of 62c this week and given its shareholding structure (co-ops owning 52%), it is believed that a take-over approach from these recent investors is unlikely.
One51 plans on retaining its 12.5% stake in ICG (Irish Ferries), which is a real cash earner for the debt-laden company, receiving almost 1 per share in dividends each year. In addition, One51 also plans on retaining their stake in NTR, where they see growth potential given NTRs new management team and with the shares trading at just 30c. Their stake in renewable energy firm OpenHydro, also appears to have fallen in value, given that French engineering group, DCNS, recently paid 3.7m for a 3.2% stake, a drop of 34% on what it paid for its 8% stake a year ago.
However, DCNSs willingness to increase its stake is a positive sign and informed sources confirmed that OpenHydro is performing very well. Meanwhile, AIM quoted Augean plc, in which One51 holds a 17.66% stake, has confirmed they are also trading well. 2012 is set to be a critical year for One51 in terms of how it streamlines its business and reduces overall debt levels.