Thursday 14 December 2017

EBS's billionaire bidder has already given it a new name

FAMED billionaire investor Wilbur Ross, the glamorous third pillar of the Cardinal partnership that's bidding for EBS, made a valiant effort to ingratiate himself with the Irish establishment this week but could do with a touch more local knowledge.

Appearing on Bloomberg TV, Mr Ross heaped praise on the Government's efforts to deal with the crisis and insisted Ireland would "turn around" and become a "safe, strong country" once again once the present turmoil blew over.

The most tangible demonstration of this? "We are one of the two finalists bidding for a bank there, the 'Educational Bank for Savings'". Better known to readers as the Educational Building Society.

Business start-ups

WHILE the country and Government came close to collapse this week, Trade Minister Billy Kelleher has been left to get on with day-to-day government business.

Minister Kelleher, who is leading a trade mission in sunny Brazil, was in University College Cork last week to launch a new centre to help graduates with business start-ups.

The centre will host a 12-month course for 10 graduates from any third level institute brave enough to consider setting up a business during the crisis. The programme begins in January and applicants must apply by December 10. Email ignite@ucc.ie if you're interested.

Knee-jerk reaction

HEWLETT-Packard's slightly hysterical reaction this week to suggestions that the 12.5pc rate of corporation tax would force the laptop and printer maker to quit Ireland drew a fairly sharp response from other technology companies.

"It's a good place for us to do research and development and we don't make decisions based just on tax," Cisco Systems' European boss Chris Dedicoat told a leadership forum in London.

"To take a decision today to get out of Ireland is a knee-jerk reaction which doesn't demonstrate a lot of strategic thinking," added Nani Beccalli-Falco, chief executive officer of General Electric's international business, who was also at the forum. Ouch.

Irish Independent

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