Thursday 14 November 2019

What it says in the papers: business pages

Paul O'Donoghue

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

Irish Independent

***The Coalition’s efforts to defuse the controversy over the Siteserv sale by the former Anglo Irish Bank has resulted in intensified calls for a full inquiry.

Finance Minister Michael Noonan announced a special review of the sale and other big transactions worth over €10m which were handled by the Irish Bank Resolution Corporation.

The review of the Siteserv sale, to a company owned by businessman Denis O’Brien, will be carried out by special liquidators of IBRC, led by Kieran Wallace of KPMG, who officials said is well-acquainted with the issues involved. A report is expected to be completed by August 31 and then passed to the Dáil Public Accounts Committee.

***Belfast developer Patrick McKillen’s battle for three of the most exclusive hotels in London appeared to end in victory yesterday, after his rivals the billionaire Barclay brothers and financier Derek Quinlan sold their interest in them.

The Barclays have offloaded their interest in the company behind Claridges, The Berkeley and The Connaught hotels to Qatar’s Constellation Hotels Group.

The move brings to an end the Barclay brothers’ interest in the hotels and ends what had been one of the most bitter disputes in business over the past four years. In a statement, a spokesman for David and Frederick Barclay confirmed that they and Mr Quinlan had ended their interest in Maybourne Hotel Group, which owns the hotels.

***Independent News & Media chairman Leslie Buckley took aim at former chief executive Gavin O’Reilly yesterday following a shareholder meeting to approve the sale of INM’s shareholding in Australian media company APN.

Speaking to reporters after the meeting, Mr Buckley was critical of Mr O’Reilly who said in a recent newspaper interview that INM resembled the “killing fields” since his departure.

“It was a very regrettable thing for Gavin O’Reilly to say. When Gavin O’Reilly left the business, the business was on the verge of collapse,” the INM chairman said.

Irish Times

***A Larry Goodman company based in tax haven Luxembourg paid just 0.4pc tax on profits of over €52m in 2013, according to the Irish Times.

The paper reports that Parlesse Investments Sarl, which began trading in 2010, only paid small amounts of tax on profits of €278.6m accumulated by the end of March 2013.

The Luxembourg firm had shares and loans worth more than €800m in a number of Mr Goodman’s businesses according to the most recent documents available. Mr Goodman’s ABP Food Group, headquartered in Louth, employs more than 8,000 people.

***The chair of the Labour Relations Commission and an executive director in Pennys has sharply criticised zero hour work contracts due to the uncertainty that they create for employees.

In an interview with the Irish Times Breege O’Donoghue said that zero hour contracts are banned in Pennys/Primark, adding: “Our most important resource is our people. You want to be able to attract and retain talent at all levels of business.

“It is important that all members of staff are able to plan their hours, plan their budgets and work accordingly.”

***Controls on loans to developers by AIB were not “savage” enough and “we have to take the blame”, former AIB chairman Dermot Gleeson has told the Banking Inquiry.

Mr Gleeson said his bank had lent too much to individual developers and “there were decisions made in AIB which made things worse than they need have been for Irish citizens.”

He explained that many of the big property developers at the time were successful customers of the bank for 20 to 30 years who had always repaid their loans on time.

“I’m afraid we took too much comfort from that history”.

Irish Examiner

***Dublin city council has signed off on the construction of huge office and apartment blocks in the docklands, in a deal worth an estimated €450m.

The council has given planning permission for a development of 18,000 sq m of office space and 100 apartments at 5 Hanover Quay. The move comes a month after the council approved plans for 9,300 sq m office and 58 apartments on a neighbouring site at 76 Sir John Rogerson’s Quay.

Together both properties will be known as the ‘Reveal Developments’. The development will cost about €140m and will be worth an estimated €450m once complete.

***US firm Alltech, which was founded by Dundalk native Pearse Lyons, has agreed to pay almost €400m to buy a Minnesota-based animal nutrition firm.

Alltech, which has interests ranging from animal nutrition, to beer and whiskey, will acquire Ridley in what Mr Lyons described as a “transformative transaction”. Ridley is listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange.

The merged business will have revenues of over €1.47bn.

***Computer giant Dell is to create 100 new jobs at its facility in Limerick where about 1,200 people are employed.

The engineering jobs will be in digital technology and research and development. Recruitment will begin immediately for the new positions, which are to be filled straight away.

The move comes six years after the county was devastated when the computer maker announced that it was moving 1,900 jobs to Poland in an effort to cut its manufacturing costs.

Online Editors

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