December 2013: Denis O’Brien buys Topaz for €150 million  (with a €150 million IBRC write off) amid some grumbling (above).

October 2015: Competition and Consumer Protection Commission clears the sale of Esso forecourts to Topaz.

December 2015: Denis O’Brien sells Topaz for an estimated €450 million-plus.

G’wan the capitalism.

Denis O’Brien sells Topaz for estimated €450m (Charlie Taylor, Irish Times)


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40 thoughts on “Striking Oil

  1. ahjayzis

    Ireland’s collapse into the economic toilet was the best thing to ever happen to O’Brien.

    I mean the rest of us are saddled with about 40k in bank debt, homelessness is sky-rocketing, suicides are booming but he’s raking it in and taking none of the pain since he’s Maltese now.

    Good for him.




    1. Sherriff Frilly Keane


      Although I’ll feel a bit less poo handing this new crowd over my yoyos for a tank’ah daysil #ItMustBeSaid

  2. Mark

    To be fair, O’Brien also paid €75 to merge Topaz with Esso (the combined company is being sold) and invested a tonne of money to bring up the standard of the whole group.

    1. sendog

      ya to be fair its all well and good when your fortune and success are built on winning a telephone license which resulted in a tribunal.

      nothing to see here to be fair!

    1. B Bop

      Chutzpah indeed.
      I only came here to see amusing puns on the company name that purchased said Topaz & nothing…
      Not a fecking sausage.

    1. Anne

      150 million write out, at our expense.. it’s socialism for the rich and capitalism for the poor – when it suits.

  3. Lilly

    Apparently there’s been more footfall in your average cemetery than in the forecourts of Topaz since O’Brien got involved and roped in the ever-elegant Brian Cowen.

    1. scottser

      I had occasion too be in offaly a while back. Topaz are the only show in town, to the extent that any dissenters are told literally ‘on yer bike’..

  4. manolo

    There is a big difference between being an entrepreneur and being an expert at sucking off the state’s t!ts until they dry up.

          1. Andy

            I didn’t perform great last week so I’m on “probation”.
            Commission only payable now per response generated.
            I won’t struggle to pay my water charges anyway as I can always fall back on robbing the poor & disenfranchised.
            *lights cigar with new €20 note*

        1. Lilly

          @Andy Ah ole begrudgery chestnut… (Eyeroll) Funny so how most people have no problem saluting Michael O’Leary’s success, annoying though he can be. Now there’s a real entrepreneur AND he pays his taxes.

        2. ahjayzis

          ^ This explains to me how the likes of Haughey and Lowry got re-elected and defended ’til the end. There’ll always be a hardcore of people who can’t make the distinction between ‘someone doing well’ and someone fleecing them and everyone else in society.

          He does not pay tax in this country he comes from, was educated in, and is permitted to live in and do so much ‘business’ in – that’s a gift from us to him.

          We, this society, took a hit of 150 million to make this profit making possible – that’s a gift from us to him.

          Along with the other gratuities we lavished upon him with Siteserv etc.

          His wealth derives from the time he bought a minister of our government – that’s a gift from us to him. He’s rich because the people we elect betrayed us.

          This isn’t an entrepreneur, it’s an oligarch making a mint in a kleptocracy, this is Russia in the 90’s territory. And useful idiots like you who will be paying for his ‘deals’ in taxes for the rest of your life make it possible.

  5. Ivor

    Doing well? We don’t begrudge O’Brien you tone deaf gobsheens!

    We’re peeved because the state sold something for far less than its value. The fact that this is not the first time this has happened with O’Brien and FG is part of the context (especially given tribunal findings), but even if it turns out that Denis is a saint and this was all above board, how in the hell did the state manage to flush that much money down the toilet!

    I don’t know which would be worse – incompetence or corruption?

  6. Anne

    I don’t get it…

    How many mortgage debt write offs have there been? Not many at all I don’t think.. as we still see reports of hundreds of thousands of people in mortgage arrears. There was a nurse one time who got a pretty hefty write down on her debt after the bank sold the house for pittance… AIB did it once too I think.

    I think some of the schemes the banks have come up to get money out of people in arrears are things like interest only payments and ‘parking’ some of the mortgage till later.

    Why can’t the debt on these types of sales be parked until later, instead of the tax payer funding massive write downs, only for huge profits to be made later on? We don’t do it for mortgage holders.

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