Private company limited by shares|
|Industry||Oil and natural gas|
Petroleum and derived products|
Topaz was an Irish petroleum retail chain, owned by the Canadian Couche-Tard Group and had a presence across the island of Ireland. The legal entity was formed in 2005 and previously traded under the Statoil and Shell brands, until 2008 when the Topaz brand replaced both in Ireland. In June 2018, The Topaz brand was replaced by Circle K.
The company was formed by Ion Equity in 2005 as a vehicle to take over part of the Irish operations of Royal Dutch Shell plc (the filling station and home heating operation, Irish Shell Limited) as well as the Irish operations of Statoil. This was controversial in itself, as the Competition Authority, which must approve large mergers and acquisitions, failed to take a decision on the takeover of Statoil's assets within the time frame allowed, thus automatically approving the deal. This was the first time this had happened in the Authority's history.
The company was slow to reveal its branding strategy, continuing at first to trade under the Shell, Statoil, and Fareplay brands. However, beginning in 2008, Topaz began replacing both these brands with its own. The Fareplay brand, which Topaz owns worldwide rights to, has also been retired and replaced with a number of Topaz convenience store brands including Topaz Restore and Topaz Express.
As of 2012, Topaz operated 118 Company Owned Company Operated (COCO) sites in the Republic of Ireland and 1 site in Larne, County Antrim, Northern Ireland
Billionaire Denis O'Brien owned Topaz, having bought €300 million of its loans from Irish Bank Resolution Corporation (IBRC). In May 2014, O'Brien appointed former Taoiseach Brian Cowen to the board of Topaz to join himself, his nephew (who is also CEO of Smiles Dental), Sean Corkery (CEO of O'Brien's SiteServ), Lucy Gaffney (chairperson of O'Brien's Communicorp) and Colm Doherty (former managing director of Allied Irish Banks). In December 2014, Topaz's parent company Kendrick Investments announced it would buy all of Esso's Irish operations. Profits at Topaz increased during O'Brien's first year of ownership.
In December 2015 it was announced that Topaz was being sold to Alimentation Couche-Tard, with the deal closing in spring 2016. Subsequently, most of the Denis O'Brien connected Directors retired from the Board and the CFO Niall Anderton was appointed as CEO.
In 2018, the Topaz brand name was retired in favour of Alimentation Couch-Tard's international company Circle K
- "Denis O'Brien owned Topaz appoints Brian Cowen as director: A number of O'Brien's other close associates have also been appointed to the board". TheJournal.ie. 2 May 2014. Archived from the original on 2 June 2015. Retrieved 2 May 2014.
- "Denis O'Brien-owned Topaz to take control of 38 Esso stations". TheJournal.ie. 12 December 2014. Archived from the original on 2 June 2015. Retrieved 12 December 2014.
- "Denis O'Brien is making more money from his petrol stations". TheJournal.ie. 18 February 2015. Archived from the original on 2 June 2015. Retrieved 18 February 2015.
- "Topaz to be sold to Canadian fuel retail business - RTÉ News". RTÉ.ie. 2 December 2015. Retrieved 2 December 2015.