Thursday 14 November 2019

The Punt: Heineken's HQ on 'Diageo Drive'

The drinks giant has upped sticks from Dublin’s Old Belgard Road in Tallaght, where its Irish headquarters was based until recently
The drinks giant has upped sticks from Dublin’s Old Belgard Road in Tallaght, where its Irish headquarters was based until recently Newsdesk Newsdesk

Heineken is on the move. The drinks giant has upped sticks from Dublin's Old Belgard Road in Tallaght, where its Irish headquarters was based until recently.

About 60 staff working in management, sales and marketing have moved to a new office in Kilmainham. The office is led by Irish country director and Ballina native Maggie Timoney.

Of course, Kilmainham already has a pretty big drinks company in situ - Guinness. It's Guinness land as far as the eye can see, actually.

That little corner of Dublin has turned into a real hub for drinks companies.

The Teeling brothers have just opened the city's first new distillery for 125 years around the corner, in the history-drenched Liberties.

Then there's the host of craft and home brewers popping up in that area, one of the country's trendiest places to live.

Heineken's Irish office has been busy of late. It created the TV ad that will be broadcast around the world in conjunction with Rugby World Cup 2015, which Heineken sponsors. The company's Irish marketing director, Sharon Walsh, and Dublin ad agency Rothco led the creation of the ad - though we were sad to see it was filmed in Twickenham rather than the Aviva.

In less favourable news, the company was recently hit with an accusation of anti-competitive practices at pubs.

Bloomberg takes hard line

The Punt has seen press embargoes - agreements not to publish information before a certain time - broken many times before. But rarely with such disastrous consequences for everyone involved.

Chris Wellisz, a top US editor at financial news company Bloomberg, last Wednesday afternoon inadvertently broke an embargo of highly sensitive Federal Reserve data. The 15-year financial news man mistakenly published a headline about July Federal Reserve meeting information some 24 minutes before a 2pm embargo agreement.

The early headline, which suggested that the central bank was getting closer to raising interest rates, caused Treasury bond prices to tumble before the Fed released the full minutes to the public.

By Friday, Wellisz had left the company.

Embargo breaches of sensitive data at Bloomberg are treated with a hard line. In 2013, the company broke an embargo agreement with the Czech central bank by releasing interest rate data one minute early.

Two staffers reportedly lost their jobs following the flub.

Malin's coup in nabbing Kelly

Irish life sciences investment firm Malin has pulled off a bit of a coup.

It has nabbed former Elan chief Kelly Martin as its new chief executive as part of a reshuffle of its management team.

Malin was set up earlier this year by executives from former Irish stock market stalwart Elan and raised €330m in one of Europe's biggest biotechnology IPOs. Its current chief executive, Adrian Howd, a former equity analyst at Berenberg Bank, is taking on the newly created role of chief investment officer.

Martin is an ideal pick for the top job. A former Merrill Lynch banker, he took over at Elan in the midst of an accounting scandal in 2003 before cleaning it up and selling it to Perrigo for $8.6bn a decade later. He knows Malin inside out; he was already a director of the company and sits on a number of boards of the firms that Malin has invested in.

But "Kelly Martin isn't perfect", as one 'Wall Street Journal' article said. He faced down lots of critcism from shareholders at Elan, including for his use of private jets to fly to Ireland from the US.

We think Malin's shareholders will be able to overlook a lot, though, if Kelly achieves the kind of results he got at Elan.

Irish Independent

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