Cork medical firm Qumas sold to US software company Accelrys
A CORK medical regulation business has been snapped up by a US buyer for $50m (€36m).
Qumas, which helps pharmaceutical and medical device clients to meet regulatory requirements, has been bought by US medical software company Accelrys.
The chief executive of Qumas is Kevin O'Leary, who is based between the US and Ireland and was shortlisted as 'Entrepreneur of the Year' by Ernst and Young in 2009.
Qumas, which was founded in 1994, reported sales of around €14m last year. It has two main operations, in Cork and Jersey City in the US.
Investors in the company include a spate of venture capital firms like Irish and UK investor Delta Partners and Boston-based private equity fund Fidelity Growth Partners.
San Diego-headquartered Accelrys, which has more than 1,300 clients in the pharmaceutical, biotechnology, energy, chemicals, aerospace, consumer goods and industrial products industries, said the purchase of Qumas will provide it with "mission-critical, end-to-end document and process management compliance solutions" and advance its ability to help customers reduce regulatory risks, lower quality costs, improve compliance effectiveness and increase operational efficiency in bringing new products to market.
AN TAISCE RAISES HUMAN RIGHTS IN RACE FOR BIOFUELS
IRELAND's biofuels targets are provoking human rights abuses in poorer countries, environmental organisation An Taisce has said. The organisation, the oldest of its kind in Ireland, blames this on an EU biofuels policy that "has become nothing short of modern-day colonialism." "EU mandates and subsidies for biofuels see local people in poorer countries thrown off food-growing lands which are then assigned to large companies to plant fuel crops" said the NGO.
Biofuels are generally made from plants, and not finite resources like oil or gas. It is classed a renewable energy source and so helps to satisfy Ireland's EU targets for the use of renewables. But An Taisce estimates that Ireland imports 80 times more land-based biofuel from low-income Guatemala than it grows in its own soil, with 2012 data showing that Ireland imports 3.8m litres of biofuel derived from crops grown in Guatemala, while only producing 49,000 litres from domestically grown rapeseed oil.
"Neither of the two main aims of European biofuels policy -- greater self-sufficiency and lower emissions -- are being met in either Ireland or Europe" said the NGOs. It has written to all 28 EU energy ministers pressing them to reform the policy.
DAIRY GROUP FONTERRA STALL MILK PRICE HIKE
FONTERRA, the world's largest dairy exporter, has refrained from raising its projected payout to farmers even as China drives a surge in demand for milk, saying higher prices are hurting profits.
New Zealand-headquartered Fonterra has maintained its forecast milk price at a record NZ$8.30 (€5) a kilo of milk solids for the 2013-14 year, even as it acknowledged it could have raised the price to NZ$9. It also projected full-year earnings will decline and cut its dividend forecast.
The company said it can't increase milk-powder production quickly enough to meet soaring demand. That means 30pc of its milk is still being used to make products such as cheese and casein, which are currently generating lower returns. Raising the milk-price forecast would make it more costly to produce those items.
"We are in an extraordinary situation," Fonterra Chairman John Wilson said. "The gap between prices for milk powders compared to cheese and casein is greater than it has ever been."
"We anticipated that the market would likely change and that demand for milk powders would increase, but the demand is increasing at a faster rate than anyone predicted," said chief executive Theo Spierings.