Ireland’s largest book retailer Eason will soon see its bustling Shop street store under new ownership as it makes plans to sell off multiple properties.
Eason is selling off 13 properties it owns around the Republic, a mixture of retail outlets and investment properties, in a move that’s expected to generate €60 million in revenue for shareholders.
One store that’s being sold off, the company’s flagship outlet on O’Connell street, will be leased back from the new owner and continue to run as a bookstore uninterrupted.
It’s not known of there are similar plans for other outlets up for sale such as the one on Shop street.
The Irish Times reports that plans for the sale were drawn up by Eason’s Chairman David Dilger to release liquid funds to the company’s shareholders, and extract the best value from its assets.
Eason is owned by 220 shareholders, with the company largely family-owned for many generations. With the €60 million distributed amongst them, it’ll come to €3 per share.
According to the plans that exist the properties will be sold off over the next two to three years.
An additional €17 million in cash and €2.4 million in property assets in Norther Ireland will be used to rejuvenate the retail business.
The retail side of Eason will then be transferred to a new entity, New Retail Holding Public Limited Company, with the shareholders retaining ownership.
Other stores being sold off can be found in Blanchardstown Shopping Centre, the Square in Tallaght, Patrick Street in Cork, and shops in Clonmel, Limerick, and Tralee.
The portfolio also include investment properties in Athlone, Carlow, Clonshaugh, Dún Laoghaire, and St Margaret’s in Co Dublin.
Other than on Shop street, Eason has Galway branches in Galway Shopping Centre and Tuam.
Eason has 62 stores throughout Ireland, including seven in Norther Ireland, with 34 being operated directly by the company and 28 franchises.
An extraordinary general meeting of shareholders is planned for September to gain approval for the sales, with 75% backing needed to go ahead.
If they do give approval, Eason will then have to seek further approval from the High Court to move ahead with its plans.