Business Irish

Tuesday 30 September 2014

The Punt: New turn for Circle with Jenkins role?

Published 07/01/2014 | 02:30

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The charity partnership between Applegreen and several charities runs until the end of next year

The former chairman of Irish exploration firm Circle Oil, Thomas Anderson, summed up his tenure in the role last September as "10 years of pain".

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He had surprised shareholders by putting forward his name for re-election to the post prior to the annual general meeting but then deciding to leave instead. He had insisted his departure was part of a "long-planned" retirement strategy.

"Small exploration and production companies with no cash flow have to raise funds all the time so it's a difficult position to be in," he said at the time.

"It is easy to have blue skies projects but you have to turn them into cash flow, keep governments onside, and deal with things that don't always happen on time," he said. But Circle Oil appears to have secured something of a coup in persuading Steve Jenkins to take on the chairmanship.

Mr Jenkins is the former head and co-founder of AIM-listed Nautical Petroleum, which was sold in 2012 to Cairn Energy for £414m (€500m).

At Circle, which is primarily focused on operations in north Africa, he'll play a key role interacting with bankers and institutions. The shares jumped on news of his appointment to Circle. Seems he's already paying his way.

IT ALL ADDS UP FOR CHARITY

WE don't really like giving away free advertising, but every now and then The Punt thinks it's worth it.

We could spin the theory that businesses that collaborate with charities and then send out press releases to inform everyone are taking part in a cynical ploy to tug at the heart-strings and get more businesses. But The Punt isn't that negative about life.

Shop in an Applegreen service station and 1 cent of your total purchase will be given to The Children's Medical and Research Foundation, Our Lady's Children's Hospital in Crumlin and Anam Cara.

It's not a massive amount but it all adds up, and it's a worthy cause. The charity partnership began yesterday and will run until December next year, with a target of raising €240,000.

All funds raised will be given to the chosen charities via a cheque every three months.

A FLATTERING TURNAROUND

Could it be that 'The New York Times' felt a little guilty about its recent portrayal of Ireland and decided to try and make amends? The paper of record published a new article about the country's fortunes yesterday with an altogether different gloss. This time it focused on our tech start-up scene.

Who would have known that a country whose inhabitants have to shoot for food could be so sophisticated as to have tech start-ups?

The article was full of the sort of phrases that would have left Finance Minister Michael Noonan nodding in approval.

Grand Canal Dock was described as a "kind of home away from home for the big Silicon Valley companies like Google and Facebook". Indeed, the paper went easy on us by claiming the computer giants were attracted by our low corporation tax rates.

It also talked about how there were signs of hope in the economy, with increased activity.

"This activity can be seen in the Grand Canal Docks, where young multilingual programmers and developers swap office gossip over expensive coffees in fashionable riverside bistros, while construction workers scramble to build high-rise office blocks to house international and local companies that have flocked to the area," it wrote.

And not a pigeon in sight. They must have all been shot.

Irish Independent

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