Ask A Broadsheet Reader


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Namawinelake tweetz:

“How does price paid by Denis O’Brien for Topaz’s IBRC loans stack up against these very impressive profits at Topaz?


Topaz publishes Annual Accounts – announces €20m investment programme (Gordon MRM)

Previously: Topaz The Morning To You

Oil Be Back

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4 thoughts on “Ask A Broadsheet Reader

  1. SOMK

    I think the question is rhetorical, but taking it at face value…

    The debts of Topaz I’m guessing were from the cost of initially setting it up, so they would have said to Anglo
    “Hi Anglo say, loan us a few hundred million so we can take buy out shell and stat oil, we’ll make loads of money!” to which Anglo said,
    “Hi Dennis, how’s the form? No problem, we like money. Now watch me hit this birdie with a four iron.”

    So they get a big loan and Shell and Stat Oil are bought out with this loan and become TOPAZ.

    Meanwhile the banks have a meltdown, with Anglo being sold off, with the state selflessly agreeing to take all the stinky loans off them, whilst the few ones actually worth anything were sold off at a discount.

    Say you buy up a shop in a town with a €50k loan and the bank manager likes you a lot so you get 0% interest over ten years, then you’re roughly paying back €100 a week, so you have to make €100 over your costs to make a profit. Say there’s a bank collapse and the government is covering the cost of the bailout, the local bank is being wound down and all the bad loans are taken off the books by the state and the performing loans are put up for sale, so you can buy your loan for €25k, you take out another loan, this time for €25k on which you have to pay €50 a week, now you only have to make €50 after costs to make a profit, because the government has essentially offered to pay half your loan for you.

    So in order to answer the above question you’d have to know how much were Topaz paying to service the original loan versus how much they are paying now and subtract that from the profits, the inference is that a good deal of that profit increase might be accounted by having a significant debt write-off (and or debt restructuring, interest rates are at a historic rock bottom right now).

    Thankfully we have some excellent independent newspapers in Ireland, staffed to the gills with brilliant and fearless investigative journalists, who I’m sure are all over this, like a polar bear in a butcher’s bin.

  2. Truth in the News

    How much debt has been written off for various corporate
    entities where O’Brien has a shareholding or is in control.
    Anyone put a figure on it….?

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