Fitzwilton

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Fitzwilton
Private
Founder Sir Anthony O'Reilly and Peter Goulandris

Fitzwilton is a privately held investment company, today owned by Sir Anthony O'Reilly and Peter Goulandris through Stoneworth Investment Ltd. It has been involved with many businesses in Ireland, and has been loss-making for much of its history.

Recent history[edit]

Northern Ireland deal[edit]

In June 1997 Fitzwilton signed a joint venture deal with Safeway plc which saw 15 of its Northern Irish Wellworths stores converted to Safeway outlets. The remaining Wellworths stores were sold to the Musgrave Group.[1] Safeway's move into Northern Ireland followed that of J Sainsbury and Tesco; Sainsbury's announced its expansion into the province in 1995 and opened its first store in December 1996, while Tesco opened its first store in October 1996 and purchased Associated British Foods' Stewarts/Crazy Prices group in 1997. Fitzwilton objected to Sainsbury's planning applications on the grounds that authorities had "moved mountains" to allow the company's developments to proceed.[2] Fitzwilton was successful in delaying Sainsbury's Coleraine store, but failed ultimately to prevent the development.

Taken private[edit]

Fitzwilton plc was de-listed from the stock exchange in 1998 when O'Reilly and Goulandris completed their takeover.[3]

In July 2002 Safeway purchased Fitzwilton's 50% share of Safeway Stores (Ireland) for £45 million.[4]

Today[edit]

Fitzwilton's main residual business is Rennicks, a supplier of "road traffic management products", mostly metallic roadsigns but also, e.g. Portable Changeable Message Signs (PCMS) for which it holds exclusive marketing rights for Ireland and the UK.[5]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Slingsby, Helen (1997-06-19). "Safeway snaps up Irish supermarkets". Evening Standard (Associated Newspapers). p. 33. 
  2. ^ "Sainsbury's rejects "preference" claims". Irish Times (The Irish Times). 1995-06-26. p. 14. 
  3. ^ McGrath, Brendan (1998-09-22). "Shares fall but sharp drop is averted". The Irish Times. p. 19. 
  4. ^ Morton, Robin (2002-07-09). "Safeway takes full control". Belfast Telegraph (Belfast Telegraph Newspapers). 
  5. ^ Slattery, Laura (2006-10-28). "Fitzwilton sees losses narrow to €3.8m". The Irish Times. p. 18.