Cork businessman Norman Crowley was just TWO hours away from a billion dollar deal, before disaster struck 2 years ago

Cork businessman Norman Crowley was just TWO hours away from a billion dollar deal, before disaster struck

Norman Crowley is our guest this week on The Architects of Business, in partnership with EY Entrepreneur Of The Year™.

Norman Crowley has quite a story to tell about the time he almost sold his gaming company for ¢1bn, only to see everything fall through at the very last moment.

Norman is our guest this week on The Architects of Business, in partnership with EY Entrepreneur Of The Year™.

"We were waiting in our office, car idling outside a door waiting to take us to the lawyer’s office and sign a deal for $1bn and we got a phone call saying, ‘it’s over,'" he tells host Tadhg Enright about the Icelandic hedge fund that pulled out of a deal to buy his Inspired Gaming Group just as the world's financial crisis hit a decade ago.

The 45-year-old from Clonakilty in County Cork explains the work that had gone into securing the deal.

"They owned 30% of American Airlines, they owned House of Fraser," he explained about the potential buyers, "and so they offered us $1bn for the business and that deal took about six months to be put together.

“Meanwhile, while that was happening the world was kind of imploding. Lehman Brothers was happening, there was definitely blood in the water, and so what we did – like any good person – we pushed it hard to get it closed. And about two hours before it was due to close, basically the whole world collapsed."

Norman - an EY Entrepreneur Of The Year™ Finalist in 2011 - would eventually get out of the gaming business and set up Crowley Carbon, a company which seeks to reduce energy costs for massive companies while remaining environmentally friendly.

One of Ireland's most successful entrepreneurs, Norman knows that saving money will always come before saving the environment for most companies - his aim is to save both.

Subscribe to The Architects of Business for free on iTunes, SoundCloud or watch every episode on YouTube.