Sunday 25 February 2018

The Punt: Red-faced, my eye

Andy McCue, Chief Executive, Paddy Power plc. Credit Gary O' Neill
Andy McCue, Chief Executive, Paddy Power plc. Credit Gary O' Neill

Paddy Power said it was "feeling a little red-faced" after paying out early on bets Greeks would vote Yes in Sunday's referendum.

The Greeks of course voted No.

The Punt's not so sure Paddy Power is all that embarrassed about its "blunder" mind you. The country's biggest bookies made headlines around the world last Wednesday, when it said it was making a payout of "five figures" on the Greek vote before ballots were even cast.

It looks in hindsight like a bit of a blunder, a rare example of the house losing even when the house wins.

But, the house never loses. In this case Paddy Power recouped its Greek losses many times over in free advertising.

A prominent report of the July 1 payout was one of news service Bloomberg's most read items globally on the day.

The payout story was picked up by newspapers ranging from USA Today to London's CityAM. A quick Google search suggests it generated a stonking 3,000 news reports.

Somehow, the Punt doubts Paddy Power boss Andy McCue (pictured) is quite as embarrassed by his marketing coup as he'd have us believe.

Promotions at LK Shields

There's been a few promotions in top Dublin law firm LK Shields with the appointment of two new partners.

Rachel Murphy has been made a partner in the Litigation and Dispute Resolution team, while Damien Barnaville is being appointed partner in the Financial Services team.

LK Shields said the appointments increase the strength and expertise of the firm's offering.

Ms Murphy is experienced in family law, including separation agreements, judicial separation and divorce. She also has extensive experience in commercial litigation

Mr Barnaville advises on financial services law and regulation and specialises in investment funds.

He advises fund promoters on structuring, establishing and listing investment funds in Ireland.

Edmund Butler, managing partner, welcomed the appointments and said both Ms Murphy and Mr Barnaville had a wealth of experience.

"We are experiencing steady growth across a large number of our practice areas," Mr Butler said. "2015 looks set to be our busiest year to date."

The curse of Battersea

Is it possible that the curse of Battersea Power Station is about to strike again?

Battersea of course was known by most people as the backdrop to the cover photo of Pink Floyd's "Animals" album but in the 30 years since it closed down, Battersea has become one of the last remaining undeveloped sites close to central London.

That has made it incredibly attractive to developers, who have looked at the abandoned power station's chimneys and seen pound signs as far as the eye can see.

It hasn't quite worked out like that though.

Since then there have been plans for among other things, a theme park, followed by a retail, leisure and residential by the Hong Kog developer Park View. Neither of those got off the ground. Then it was the rurn of Real Estate Opportunities, an investment vehicle controlled by Treasury Holdings. That too failed, and Nama and Lloyds sold the site to Malaysian developers who plan to build luxury homes there.

Except yesterday it emerged that prices in Battersea have plunged 10pc in the last year for "luxury" homes. It seems the curse of Battersea continues.

Irish Independent

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