Panda Waste founder Eamon Waters increases PTSB stake above 7%

Businessman one of the most active individual investors in Irish stock market

A private equity company controlled by Panda Waste founder Eamon Waters has increased his stake in PTSB, formerly Permanent TSB, to 7.02 per cent as he continues to be one of the most active individual players in on the Irish stock market in recent times.

Mr Waters’s firm, Sretaw Private Equity, had previously disclosed in June that it had accumulated at 3.25 per cent interest in PTSB, the smallest of the Republic’s three remaining retail banks.

The latest move, disclosed to the stock market on Friday evening, makes Sretaw the third-largest shareholder in the bank, after the Irish State and UK banking giant NatWest Group.

The businessman set up Sretaw in 2021 after the sale of Beauparc Utilities, which included the Panda and Greenstar waste firms, to Australia’s Macquarie Infrastructure Fund in a deal worth €1.4 billion. He was the controlling shareholder of Beauparc at the time of the sale, while New York investment giant Blackstone owned 37.6 per cent.


Mr Waters set up Panda in 1990 on land adjoining his family’s filling station business in Beauparc, near Slane, Co Meath. It acquired Greenstar in 2016 and it expanded the same year into the UK market through acquisition. It acquired another business in the Netherlands in 2018.

Sretaw’s stake in PTSB is worth almost €77 million, based on the bank’s closing price on Friday.

The firm has also built up a 3 per cent interest in Irish Ferries owner Irish Continental Group (ICG), a 10.9 per cent stake in insurer FBD, and a 2.8 per cent exposure to Dalata Hotel Group. Sretaw has also been a very active investor in the Dublin property market in the past two years.

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PTSB has transformed its prospects in the past year by acquiring €6.25 billion of mortgage and small business loans and a €500 million asset finance company from Ulster Bank as the latter retreated from the Irish market.

The bank joined its two larger Irish rivals during the summer in upgrading its full-year financial forecast amid ongoing central bank rate hikes and as the bank increases its share of mortgage lending. The bank sees its total income rising 65 per cent this year to €680 million.

The Government and Ulster Bank’s parent, NatWest Group, sold a combined 10 per cent of the bank’s stock on to the market in early June.

NatWest received a 16.7 per cent stake last year as part-payment for Ulster Bank loans sold to PTSB. The share placing reduced Irish taxpayers’ stake in the bank to 57.4 per cent, while NatWest’s fell to 11.7 per cent.

Joe Brennan

Joe Brennan

Joe Brennan is Markets Correspondent of The Irish Times