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Thursday 8 December 2016

Lenihan is a great ambassador, says Aryzta chief

Claire O'Brien

Published 03/02/2010 | 05:00

Owen Killian, The Midlands Gateway Chamber Ambassador of the Year 2009- 2010
Owen Killian, The Midlands Gateway Chamber Ambassador of the Year 2009- 2010

THE businessman behind the company that owns Cuisine de France believes Brian Lenihan is a "great ambassador" for the economy abroad.

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Owen Killian, CEO of Aryzta, which owns Cuisine de France, said the Finance Minister "just seems to be touching all the buttons very effectively".

Mr Killian said he has met 140 institutional investors since Aryzta released results in September "and they all speak very highly" of Mr Lenihan.

The Roscommon-born businessman made the remarks at a breakfast briefing organised by the Midlands Gateway Chamber. He said his comments were not politically motivated and accepted that the current financial crisis is "painful for consumers in Ireland and for people who are seeing wage reductions".

However, Mr Killian added that if Mr Lenihan maintains confidence among the investment community, he can raise capital at a reasonable price.

"We're going to have to raise capital, because we have to borrow in the short-term in order to be able to grow our way out of these difficulties."

He said investors were impressed with Mr Lenihan's way of presenting the economy. "He's a great ambassador for the Irish economy during a time of difficulty," he added.

Aryzta's international business turns over billions of euro. It invested €200m in its new bakery at Grangecastle in Dublin. It also owns the Cuisine de France, Delice de France, and Odlums brands and has a lucrative business in the US.

Wealth

Mr Killian said future employment will only improve through the creation of wealth.

He added: "Nobody wants to know about property development, like it's a bad word or something. Profit is not a bad word, property development is not a bad word. We've got to keep focused on what creates wealth . . . People don't set out to create employment, they set out to create wealth."

Irish Independent

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