As reported here before, Eason is pressing ahead with some major changes in its business model. In a move to reduce its share capital and continue to move its business online, Eason asked the High Court to formally approve its plan to pay a €60m special dividend to shareholders. The company is planning to free up close to €100m in capital by completing the sell-off of a thirteen-strong portfolio of properties, including some of its own stores that would be sold on a sale-leaseback basis. The majority of the cash earned would be returned to its 220 shareholders. The proposal has been approved by Eason’s investors and Eason has already sold its warehouse. We’ll just have to wait and hear what the High Court’s decision is, and whether or not Eason can get the best price possible for its remaining properties (including its O’Connell Street flagship outlet), to know the success of their plan. In fact, the state of the property market at the time may be a decisive factor in whether Eason go ahead with the plan as originally outlined.
As reported in detail in The Irish Times, the flagship Eason GPO store has now been put up for sale, valued at €24.5m. This follows on from the sale of their St Margaret’s warehouse in January and Eason’s Galway store being placed on the market in March of this year.