Friday 24 May 2019

Samantha McCaughren

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Joe Doyle of Donnybrook Fair with Musgrave CEO Chris Martin after Musgrave bought the firm in a deal worth €25m

Payday! 2018's deal highlights 

One of the hardest fought deals of the year was the race for Donnybrook Fair, the upmarket food stores which started off life in the well-heeled Dublin 4 neighbourhood. While Lidl and Aldi have taken the Irish grocery market by storm with lower prices, Joe Doyle - a Wicklow man who opened his first shop at the age of 18 - and his family went after the top of the market. After weathering the recession the group's offering of speciality and often pricey ranges tapped into a new consumer trend for fancy foods.

Chris Martin, CEO of Musgrave. Photo: David Conachy

Martin's vision for Musgrave by 2025 

Chris Martin says that Donnybrook Fair has been on Musgrave's radar for several years, but to the outside world it was quite a shock when the owner of the SuperValu and Centra brands swooped in to buy the swanky food business. The €25m deal made people pay attention, not only because Dunnes Stores had for several months been seen as the frontrunner to acquire the Dublin-based chain of five stores, but because it was such a clear statement of intent from Musgrave.

RTE director general Dee Forbes

Desperation mounts in Montrose as cash appeals fall on deaf ears 

What a couple of weeks it has been for former Communications Minister Denis Naughten, and what a couple of weeks it has been for RTE, whose fate has lain with Naughten since he took over the brief. Two weeks ago the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland took the unprecedented step of stressing the urgency of RTE's funding crisis, calling for an extra €30m a year for the broadcaster. For a po-faced regulator that usually goes out of its way to distance itself from politics, it was extraordinary to see it make an impassioned plea on behalf of the public service broadcaster.

Philip Berber’s house in Austin, Texas

Samantha McCaughren: Home where heart is for philanthropist Berber 

"To have been blessed with success in business was exciting, but to be able to use those skills to help make a real difference in the lives of so many is fulfilling and purposeful." So says Texan-based entrepreneur and philanthropist Philip Berber, who sold his share-trading firm CyberCorp to Charles Schwab for a sweet $488m in 2000. The Dubliner - who co-founded the charity 'A Glimmer of Hope' with his wife Donna to reduce extreme poverty in rural Ethiopia, as well as helping charities in Austin, Texas - is counting his blessings now that their children have flown the nest.