Category: Archive

Business briefs: New Year to burn brightly thanks to Dublin company

February 16, 2011

By Staff Reporter

By Harry Keaney

A Dublin candle-making company has scored a marketing coup, thanks to the new millennium. On New Year’s Eve, almost every house in Ireland is expected to light a millennium candle, courtesy of the Millennium Council of Ireland. And virtually all of the candles will come from Rathbornes Candles. Rathbornes wasn’t able to make all 1.3 million candles itself; it contracted the work out to two companies, one in Belgium and one in Germany.

Despite this, the Rathborne name will be on every one of the 1.3 million candles. "This gives the company publicity that money couldn’t buy," said marketing manager Justin Kneeshaw. "I can’t think of any branded product in every house."

Bankruptcy fear

Moody’s Investors Service has lowered its credit rating on Fruit of the Loom Inc. because it sees a high potential for a Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing. The apparel manufacturer, which employs 1,500 people in Ireland, mainly in Donegal and Derry, has about $1.4 billion of debt.

Fruit of the Loom Inc. is the operating company of Fruit of the Loom Ltd., a holding company in the Cayman Islands. According to a Wall Street Journal report, Fruit of the Loom, in Chicago, isn’t in compliance with certain loan covenants but is operating under a waiver from its bank lenders. The waiver is due to expire on Jan. 31. According to the Sunday Business Post newspaper, in Dublin, Fruit of the Loom is seeking an immediate cash transfusion from GE Capital.

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Jordan deal

The Indianapolis Motor Speedway and Jordan Grand Prix Ltd. have signed an exclusive agency agreement covering brand development in their respective North American and European markets.

Jordan Grand Prix, headed by Irishman Eddie Jordan, will be one of 11 Formula One teams competing at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway next Sept. 24 as part of the inaugural U.S. Grand Prix.

Under the new deal, IMS Properties, the retail marketing arm of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Corp., will be responsible for promoting the Jordan Grand Prix brand name across the U.S., Mexico, Canada and other markets as opportunities arise. Jordan will serve as marketing agent for the Indianapolis Motor Speedway brands.

O’Rourke defends Eircom

The minister for public enterprise has defended the price at which Eircom was floated to the public. Speaking on RTÉ’s "This Week" program, Mary O’Rourke said that while she does not comment on the affairs of private companies, Éircom’s share price had traded consistently above the issue price. She said that of 118 trading days since the floatation, the shares had traded higher than the issue price on 104 days.

Remaking Dublin

A major office and apartment scheme is being planned for Sir John Rogerson’s Quay, in Dublin. Haytonvale Developments hope to build 115 apartments, more than 250,000 square feet of office space and parking for 270 cars.

In Darndale, in Dublin, construction is starting on a £7 million village center that will become a new focal point for the area.

Xerox jobs

Xerox Europe is to invest a further £34 million in its Irish operations, which will lead to 600 jobs, 420 of them in Dublin and 180 in Dundalk. By 2003, the company’s workforce in Dundalk is expected to be 2,100 and 2,000 in Dublin. Xerox’s 110-acre technology park at Dundalk, which is under construction and due to be completed in mid-2000, will be one of the company’s three manufacturing facilities in Europe.

Xerox’s headquarters is in Stamford, Conn.

Returned emigrants

Not all returned emigrants find it easy to settle back into living in Ireland. It’s a problem that led Kerry native Donal O’Leary to set up the Returned Emigrants Network. In the New Year, O’Leary hopes to set up the network’s own web page to provide information and a link between returnees and those still abroad.

Early bird travelers

Those who travel early in the New Year to Ireland may save up to $600 under the Early Bird program. There will be departures on Aer Lingus from JFK Airport in New York, Newark, N.J., and Boston on Feb. 25 and March 3, 17 and 24 for an eight-day Irish heritage tour. CIE Tours International fully escorted tours start at $1,112. A similar deal is available from Los Angeles starting at $1,327. Details, call (800) CIE-TOUR, a travel agent, or log onto www.cietours.com.

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