It is comedic, bordering on farcical, that this country will agonise over the disposal of the 25% stake in Aer Lingus – worth about a lousy €175m – whilst at the same time largely ignore sales of assets worth many multiples of this. Today, the British commercial property portal, CoStar.co.uk reports that AIB has sold €600m of assets in Poland. The Irish state owns 99.8% of AIB, so these disposals are of OUR assets.
The buyer appears to be a joint venture between two non-Irish companies, Peakside Capital and Partners Group. The purchase price appears to be €600m. What was the sales and marketing process, and was it adequate to maximise the sales price? What were the assets worth in AIB’s books at 30th June 2012? Did we make a profit or loss on the deal?
Who knows, who can tell.
There’s nothing on the Investor Relations section of AIB’s website confirming the sale today, though there was a press release without specified figures in April 2012. The Government/Department of Finance didn’t announce the sale, and there’s bugger- all reporting in the Irish mainstream media.
When the Sinn Fein finance spokesperson Pearse Doherty recently asked the Minister for Finance Michael Noonan about a schedule of assets for sale in Irish state-owned banks, he was practically told to get lost and that such information was confidential. It seems that political oversight will be reserved for the sale of the 25% stake in Aer Lingus.