BoI in pension talks
BANK of Ireland is reopening talks with staff representatives to break an impasse over how to narrow its €1bn pension deficit. The Labour Court told the bank and labour union to return to talks until the middle of next month. A hearing held earlier this week failed to bridge the gap between the bank and unions.
Goodbody Stockbrokers said an accord may shave €300m off the lender's pension deficit and boost its capital. Bank of Ireland may tap shareholders again for cash by the end of this year under a plan to help refinance preference shares held by the State.
SOFTWARE STARTER FUND
A NEW €20m venture capital fund has been established for start-up companies in the software industry. Enterprise Ireland has made a €9m commitment to the first round of funding, and the balance has been committed by a number of high-net-worth individuals and family offices including Frontline Ventures.
The fund will invest at Seed and Series A stages, with investments ranging from €100,000 to €2m.
CALL FOR TECH-FIRM CASH
AN INFLUENTIAL investor has called for all Irish pension funds to invest €500m in indigenous technology firms. Chairman of the Irish Venture Capital Association Mark Hogan said yesterday that the country's pension funds should invest 2pc of their capital in rapid-growth Irish tech firms.
He pointed out that Irish pension and investment funds have about €80bn under management. "If just one in three pension funds invested 2pc of their capital in the Irish economy, that would represent an injection of €500m in Irish SMEs," he said. He added such an investment would enable Irish entrepreneurs to build their companies and so increase valuation for investors.
EBAY TO BUY BRAINTREE
EBAY, the owner of electronic-payments service PayPal, said it will bolster that business by buying payments platform Braintree for $800m in cash.
Braintree works with online and mobile-only start-ups but will now become a unit of PayPal, which employs about 2,700 people in Ireland along with its parent, as it pushes beyond processing payments for goods sold online and expands its service into physical stores and other areas. The payments industry has become highly competitive with more consumers making purchases through smartphones and tablets.