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What it says in the papers: business pages


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

Irish Independent

***Permanent TSB’s management has met 95 potential investors as it seeks to return to private ownership.

The 99pc State-owned bank is looking to raise €525m, €400m of which would be returned to the Irish taxpayer.

Chairman Alan Cook told shareholders at the bank’s agm that management would be making “key decisions” on the structure of the capital raising in the coming weeks.

***An international IT security firm has warned that an undisclosed number of Irish hotels are currently using easily hackable wifi equipment.

US-based Cylance released details of a report claiming that hotels in Ireland and Europe are using wifi technology that is easily hacked.

The company warned that guests’ personal details and booking information are at risk and that those using compromised hotels’ wifi are vulnerable unless the hotels have patched the security gap.

***A US investment firm has paid close to €120m for nearly 600 apartments around Dublin.

New York-based Marathon Asset Management has agreed terms to buy the so-called Plum Portfolio from Nama.

The portfolio includes 588 apartments across seven developments. The portfolio was put on the market last October by Nama with an asking price of €116m.

Irish Times

***Dunnes workers who went on a one-day strike last week have been hit with changes that are threatening their jobs, their union has claimed.

Mandate officials say workers all over the country were hit with sudden changes in conditions shortly after their industrial action last Thursday and were being “targeted” by Dunnes management.

They claim that these include hours being reduced, shift patterns being changed and staff being moved from long-held positions. Dunnes has not yet responded to the allegations.

***There could be a flight of some of Britain’s wealthiest residents to Ireland if a Labour government was elected and followed through on a promise to abolish a rule which allows some people to lower their UK tax bill, according to the Irish Times.

Labour Leader Ed Miliband has vowed to scrap a rule which allows someone who is a tax resident, but not domiciled, in the UK to avoid paying tax on their worldwide income.

Ireland operates the same system as a legacy of British rule and speaking to the paper Tim O’Rahilly, a partner with PricewaterhouseCoopers, says that Ireland may attract a number of Britain’s ultra-rich residents as a result.

***Irish drinks giant C&C has combined its three separate divisions in the UK and Wales into a single operation, the Irish Times reports.

The move comes after reports that the Bulmers/Magners maker is actively considering selling off its UK cider business.

The new single division, C&C Brands, will be “more efficient” according to the company and will free up resources to invest in brands such as Magners and Ye Olde English.

Irish Examiner

***US drug maker Mylan NV has launched a surprise offer to buy Ireland-based rival Perrigo for $28.9bn (€26.5bn) in a deal that would create a powerhouse for generic medicine.

The news sent stocks in both companies sharply higher yesterday. Shares in Perrigo were up 24pc after the offer was announced while Mylan stock rose 12pc.

Perrigo is best known in this country for its 2013 deal to buy Elan for almost €6.7bn, one of a slew of major deals in the sector that saw big US makers reap big tax savings by shifting their headquarters out of the US as a result of reverse mergers with a foreign takeover target.

***Irish exploration company Lansdowne Oil and Gas, the minority shareholder in the Barryroe oil field in the Celtic sea, could be sold as the firm considers a review of its business, according to the Irish Examiner.

The Dublin-headquartered firm, which is a 20pc partner to Tony O'Reilly Junior’s Irish exploration firm Providence Resources, announced a strategic review of its business yesterday.

The company said that this could result in several directions being taken, including continuing with the firm’s current strategy or the sale of some assets. However, the paper reports that analysts view a complete sale of the business as the most likely option to be taken.

***Aer Lingus posted a 2pc increase in March traffic, carrying 815,000 passengers last month.

This represented an additional 18,000 passengers carried compared to the same period in 2014.

The increase was mainly due to an increase in long-haul traffic, with passenger numbers up over 25pc to 94,000 compared to 75,000 in the same period last year. Short haul traffic fell slightly, from 628,000 to 625,000 passengers.

Online Editors