Business Irish

Thursday 19 April 2018

What it says in the papers: business pages

Michael Cogley

Michael Cogley

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

Irish Independent

* Irish energy firm Gaelectric is eyeing a sale of a stake in, or all of its operational windfarms, in a deal that could place a €750m enterprise valuation on the assets, it's understood.

The enterprise value includes debt and equity, but even with the debt attached to those assets stripped out, the assets could still have an equity value of between €250m and €350m, the Irish Independent understands.

Any proceeds would be used to further develop Gaelectric's other renewable energy assets and projects, which include energy storage, solar and bioenergy, as well as energy trading.

* Glanbia boss Siobhan Talbot said she would like to see the UK remain part of the EU, but stressed that the UK accounts for less than 10pc of the group's €3.6bn in revenue and so is not a material market for the company.

However, speaking to the Irish Independent as Glanbia released a set of strong full-year results, Ms Talbot said stability remains essential for businesses.

"Like any corporate, uncertainty is something we'd prefer not to have," said the group managing director.

* Dublin is now in a position to become one of Europe's top cities, according to the latest fDi European 'City of the Future' rankings.

The capital rose two places in the list to third with the 'Financial Times' magazine applauding it for its heavy emphasis on software and IT investment. According to the rankings, the software and IT sector accounted for 45pc of all the city's foreign direct investment between the years of 2010 and 2014. London topped the poll with Paris second.

Dublin was also ranked among the top three European cities for economic potential and for business friendliness. It also ranked fourth for FDI strategy.

The Irish Times

* Google's tax settlement has been criticised as 'disproportionately small' according to the UK Public Accounts Committee.

The committee said the payment made by Google was small in relative terms to the settlements made in Italy and France.

As part of a six-year inquiry the committee found that Google makes use of the 'Double Irish' tax mechanism.

* Ryanair has called on the UK to vote to stay within the European Union in this June's upcoming referendum.

The airline said that reform was needed in order to reduce bureaucracy and that staying in the EU was the best way to conduct such reform.

Michael O'Leary said that it was "absolutely clear" that the UK's prospects would be stronger as a member of the European Union.

* A big majority of small businesses in the North are in favour of staying in the EU according to research from the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB).

While the FSB's stance is neutral, it says that the remain element of its members outnumbers the leave side by almost two to one.

The FSB's head of external affairs, Robert Pollen, said that the group couldn't predict the impact of a British exit from the EU.

Irish Examiner

* Glanbia's expansion is to continue in 2016 by means of organic growth and acquisitions according to the firm's managing director, Siobhán Talbot.

The global nutrition group posted increased pre-tax profits of €271m for 2015, up 10.5pc.

Ms Talbot said that the firm was "in constant growth mode" following the publication of strong figures for 2015.

* US crude oil stockpiles have hit an 86-year high, causing oil prices to decline even further.

Yesterday stockpiles of crude oil grew by 3.5 million barrels, bringing the total stockpile up to 507.6m barrels.

Prices continued to fall after ministers from both Iran and Saudi Arabia announced they would not curtail their production of oil.

* Four directors at top head- hunting agency Merc Partners shared a pay pot of over €1m last year.

The Dublin firm was appointed by the Department of Finance in 2015 to identify candidates for the post of Central Bank Governor. The firm is currently involved in the search for a new Director General for RTE.

New accounts filed by Merc Partners Ltd with the Companies Office show profits rose by €99,823 last year.

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