Sunday 11 December 2016

The Punt: An Post delivers for business

Published 21/10/2015 | 02:30

An Post Launch 7th Annual 'Grow My Business' Conference fiona heffernan an post and gary brown target mcconnells
An Post Launch 7th Annual 'Grow My Business' Conference fiona heffernan an post and gary brown target mcconnells

An Post yesterday launched its line-up of speakers for the seventh annual Grow My Business Conference in Croke Park on November 10.

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Along with John Concannon and Enda McNulty, Gary Brown of advertising agency Target McConnells (pictured below with Fiona Heffernan of An Post) is among the line-up of influential speakers at this year's event.

Four of Ireland's top business and marketing experts will be on hand to talk innovative and creative techniques to capitalise on every facet of a business.

Ms Heffernan, head of Post Media at An Post, said 2016 is going to be important for the country.

"The key themes this year relate to online retailing and the expectations for inbound tourism in 2016.

"With All Ireland medal winner Enda McNulty freshly back from the Rugby World Cup where his role was Mindset Coach to the 2015 Irish rugby team, there will be something for everyone at Croke Park on November 10.

"Attendees will leave informed, motivated and armed with practical marketing tactics for businesses of all shapes and sizes."

Not ship-shape for Ornua

The Irish Dairy Board, or Ornua as it's now known, isn't happy.

Earlier this year, Ornua shipped 750 cartons of unsalted lactic butter "in good order and condition", from Ireland to the US with Kuehne & Nagle, which trades as Blue Anchor America Line and AP Moeller-Maersk.

And then the trouble started, allegedly.

Ornua claims that the shipping firms "failed to re-deliver the subject shipment in the same good order and condition as when it was received".

The dairy company is suing the firms in New York.

"Defendants breached and violated their duties and obligations as a common carriers and bailees of the cargo, were negligent and careless in their handling of the subject shipment and were otherwise at fault," Ornua has claimed in its brief complaint which was filed this month with the US court.

Ornua claims that wants the court to award it $125,000 in damages, plus interest, cost and attorney fees.

That's some expensive butter.

Earlier this year, Ornua said it was targeting €3bn of annual sales in the post-milk quota market.

It generated turnover of €2.3bn last year and pre-tax profits of €28.1m.

Hammerson's bet on Jewel

Now that Hammerson and Allianz Real Estate's deal to take over the loans tied to the Dundrum Town Centre and other shopping centres in Dublin has closed, we are beginning to see just how the purchase is being structured.

We knew that Hammerson and Allianz will split the Dundrum loans while Hammerson will take the rest, but now we have learned how Hammerson has produced its share of the €1.8bn deal.

The UK firm has basically gone to its bankers for a quick few quid to get the deal done. According to industry journal Real Estate Capital, Hammerson has agreed a new short term revolving credit facility of €1bn with its nine existing lenders. This is a relatively common occurrence on major deals. That bridging loan will likely be refinanced through a bond or a long term syndicated loan.

Even so, the fact that a company of Hammerson's size has to do this gives you some idea of just how big a deal Project Jewel is.

As well as the loan, Hammerson is planning to sell assets worth about £300m to fund the deal.

Considering analysts at Merrill Lynch last week questioned the €1.8bn price, it will be interesting to see how Hammerson does with Project Jewel.

Irish Independent

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