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Fairfax chairman and CEO Prem Watsa speaks during the company's annual meeting in Toronto April 11, 2013.
Fairfax chairman and CEO Prem Watsa speaks during the company's annual meeting in Toronto April 11, 2013.
(© Aaron Harris / Reuters/REUTERS)

Fairfax pares stake in Bank of Ireland

Insurance and investment company Fairfax Financial Holdings Ltd. is selling down one third of its stake in the Bank of Ireland, a transaction that has become a model for its other investments in distressed countries.

Fairfax’s chief executive officer and founder Prem Watsa led a consortium of investors to take a 35-per-cent stake in the bank in 2011, then worth $1.5-billion. The move saved Bank of Ireland from nationalization. The government of Ireland took a minority stake, which it maintains today.