Hot Water Brigade


Peter Gaynor

Peter Gaynor

NEXT WEEK the latest chapter in the Capital Foods group story will unfold when a creditors meting is held for Peter Gaynor’s Capital Food Emporium (Holdings) Ltd. Gaynor now gives his address as the rather upmarket borough of London’s Belgravia and it turns out that the high-profile food entrepreneur is making some serious moolah across the Irish Sea.

The Capital Foods Group is the operation that was behind familiar names like Beeftro and Clodagh’s Kitchen (fronted by celebrity chef and Gaynor’s one-time squeeze, Clodagh McKenna).

Gaynor’s name surfaced most publicly in early 2017 when Capital Foods Group bought out his sister, Monaco-based Olivia Gaynor Long, as owner of the Residence private members club on St Stephen’s Green. Oddly, Gaynor and his business partner, John Collins, remained in situ for barely a year before they flopped the club on to Paddy McKillen jnr – maybe the first sign of the two boys going their separate ways.

No sooner was the ink dry on the Residence exit than Peter Gaynor resigned as a director of one of the group’s companies, Capital Food Green Ltd. For his part, in March this year Collins stepped down from Capital Food Dew Ltd (which holds the Beeftro name, operating out of Dundrum) and also from Capital Food Emporium (Holdings), with Collins’s stake transferred to Gaynor at the same time.

In July, Capital Food Green was wound up following a resolution passed noting the company “cannot by reason of its liabilities continue its business” and a creditors’ meeting is scheduled to take place next week for Capital Foods Emporium (Holdings).

This latter had various contracts in place, including the Arnotts food hall. However, according to the accounts for 2017, “The company’s main contract has ceased effective 31st August 2018. The shareholders have continued supporting the company and are evaluating all options.”

The 2017 figures, only signed off last month, show that Capital Food Emporium (Holdings) made a loss last year of a whopping €570,000. There was also a drop in staff numbers from 47 to 22. The company is shown to be owed €132,000 by Capital Food Dew, which is itself loss-making, dropping €90,000 last year, to leave accumulated losses here of €385,000.

The good news, however, is that while the food business has soured somewhat for Peter Gaynor, the residential property market in London is proving rather tasty. A recent filing by Gaynor shows a change of address to swanky Eaton Square in Belgravia.

A business he has in England is mechanical and electrical engineering company Cilantro Engineering UK Ltd, where Gaynor is MD and his partner is fellow Irishman Gerry Giblin. Cilantro supplies its services to the property development sector (including the likes of Sean Mulryan’s Ballymore Homes). The operation had a very good year in 2017, boasting turnover well up to over £60m, with a profit of £2.5m recorded and dividends paid out of £1.2m (up from £1m in 2016).

Remuneration for the directors (there are three listed, including Peter’s sister, Caitriona Gaynor) was £625,000, while Gaynor’s Irish holding company, Rembrandt House Holdings, was paid a healthy £777,000 for consultancy services last year.Nice work if you can get it.

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