Tuesday 6 December 2016

What it says in the papers: business pages

Published 22/04/2016 | 07:05

Here are the main business stories from this morning's papers:

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Irish Independent

* Belfast businessman Stephen Fitzpatrick and a Dublin firm controlled by Russian billionaire Andrey Cheglakov are embroiled in a multi-million pound legal battle in London connected to the Manor Formula 1 racing team.

Mr Fitzpatrick is also the founder and chief executive of Ovo Energy, the British firm that is a challenger to the UK's big power companies, and whose backers include Al Gore's Generation Investment.

In early 2015, Mr Fitzpatrick fulfilled a long-time ambition to own a Formula 1 team, when he acquired Manor Grand Prix Racing, the company then behind the then Marussia racing team, out of administration.

* Brexit fears are pushing investors back to Ireland and driving interest in Nama's latest portfolio sales, the State bad bank's head of strategy has claimed.

Sean O'Faolain told the Irish Independent that the UK market has effectively stopped until after the referendum on whether Britain should leave the EU, and buyers who had perhaps moved on from the Irish market were now showing renewed interest in this country.

His comments came as bidders for Nama's Project Emerald and Project Ruby portfolios submitted their first round offers for the two loan bundles.

* One51 has been urged by some shareholders to borrow rather than raise equity in pursuit of its acquisition strategy.

Chairman Denis Cregan told a general meeting yesterday that the company is continuing to look at takeover targets after it postponed a stock market listing indefinitely.

"We're very confident that we will do some acquisition investment, we'll have organic growth, and we'll be able to fund that," he said.

The Irish Times

* The former Clerys site on O'Connell Street could become home to Ireland's first ever Apple store, although no official deal has been confirmed.

According to a report in The Irish Times, Natrium, the consortium that bought the store for €29m last year, has been trying to get Apple to open a location there.

Apple has yet to announce a store in Dublin yet.

* One51 chief executive Alan Walsh believes the manufacturing firm could miss out on a series of takeover deals after the company shelved its proposed flotation on the stock market.

The firm's egm, set up to prepare it for its IPO, was adjourned indefinitely on Thursday.

About 35pc of shareholders opposed the idea of an IPO meaning the company did not have the 75pc majority needed to give the flotation a green light.

* Some seven years after Kerry Group took over Breeo Foods the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission dropped its Supreme Court challenge against it.

A subsidiary of Kerry, Rye Investments, bought Breeo in 2009 for €140m.

The acquisition was challenged by the then Commission Authority within  weeks, however the commission recently dropped the case against it.

Irish Examiner

* The Consumers' Association of Ireland has called on Irish MEPs to encourage the European Central Bank to examine the high cost of SME lending in Ireland.

In a report in the Irish Examiner, the Association said it was unacceptable that Irish rates were so high at a time when the ECB had set rock-bottom interest rates.

The Association said Irish banks are currently offering very low deposit rates but are still charging households and companies much higher rates for borrowing.

* If Leicester City were to win the Premier League next month it would cost betting firm Ladbrokes £3m (€3.8m).

The betting firm also questioned the conduct of its rival bookies for their conduct at last month's Cheltenham Festival.

Cheltenham this year was the worst in bookmakers' history, recording combined losses of £60m.

* Volkswagen has agreed to fix or buy back 500,000 diesel cars in the US as part of $10bn deal following an emissions scandal.

Shares in the company increased by 2pc last year as the carmaker continues to emerge from the cheating scandal.

US authorities commended Volkswagen for its cooperation in proceedings.

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