Irvings look to break up empire

Yowsa. This doesn’t happen every day.

Sources familiar with the sprawling family conglomerate say the three principal owners, brothers J.K., Arthur and Jack, all in their 70s, are engaged in tense discussions that will see the various Irving businesses split among family members. Most important, the energy business, managed by Arthur and his sons, would become independent from the forestry business, operated by J.K. and his children. The reason, as in most family splits, is a succession impasse, the sources say. Decision making was manageable when there was one owner, the patriarch K.C. Irving, and even three owners – in the person of his three sons, who operated for years on a close collegial basis.

Whatever you say about the Globe & Mail, you learn more about the Irvings in this one article than you will in five years’ worth of newspapers in New Brunswick.