By Stephen McKinley
Fast on the heels of his bidding war with eIsland for Eircom, Tony O’Reilly is planning a takeover of Austarlia’s Fairfax news group.
The acquisition could be worth more than $1.04 billion, and would include newspapewrs such as the Sydney Morning Herald and the Australian Financial Review.
O’Reilly may use APN News and Media or Wilson and Horton, Independent’s New Zealand subsidiary, for the takeover.
Gem plan for Derry loses shine
Gem, the Belfast-based Internet company has yet to find a site for its planned 700-strong development in Derry.
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According to the Derry Journal, Gem, which manages large email databases for clients, has yet to find a location for the proposed new workforce. Last week Gem announced that it would handle email services for online retailer, Amazon.
The delay in finding a location is likely to prove to be a temporary hitch, however, and a Gem spokesperson said that plans were still on course.
Paddy Power moves to UK
Online Irish betting service Paddy Power has announced that it is moving its operations to the UK, to take advantage of the abolition of betting tax across the Irish Sea.
Until now, Paddy Power had subsidized the tax but said in its annual report that this had hit the bottom line, although its online service had produced revenues of £14 million.
Hammer heads for Ireland
Storage distributor Hammer, based in the UK, is to open a Dublin office by the end of August. Sales and marketing will be transferred to Ireland and from here, Hammer hopes to make its big entry into the wider European market.
"Going into Ireland gives us distinct advantages. Products in Ireland are not all sold by authorised distributors, so resellers are having to purchase from the UK. It is a wonderful test site for Hammer moving into Europe," said Hammer’s managing director Paul Sangster.
Bord na Mona reports profits
Bord na Mona, the peat digging consortium has posted increased profits up to about £20 million. The company predicts that its continued success lies in supplying peat to peat-burning power stations.
John Hourican, Managing Director, Bord na Mona said: "The results reflect the progress achieved in the fulfilment of our strategy.
Our next challenge is the completion of the new E.S.B. power stations which have been agreed for Shannonbridge and Lanesboro. On completion, they will provide ongoing support for over 1,500 Bord na Mona jobs in the Midlands."
Often-ailing Russian airline, ‘roflot, has announced plans to launch a new Irish airline… yes, it’s true!
Wary potential passengers will be glad to know that, "the airline will be created from scratch," according to Boris Krivchenko, ‘roflot’s London-based representative on commercial projects.
"The business plan is already prepared and will be presented to the ‘roflot board of directors in August and then to ‘roflot shareholders for approval," he said.
"What is being created is a strategic partner for flying within Europe, a feeding airline that will link passenger flows up to ‘roflot’s flights," Krivchenko said. "We fly to London from Moscow, but we cannot fly within Europe. We need a commercial helper to connect flights."
Any EU airline can take advantage of the European Union’s open skies policy, which allows it to fly to any destination of member states – if time slots are available. ‘roflot would be able to feed its passengers to that air carrier, which could then ferry them throughout Europe. So under current regulations, ‘rflot needs to find an EU partner willing to hold a 51% state in… Air Erinski?
New Asset Covered Securities Bill
Minister for Finance, Mr Charlie McCreevy, announced the imminent publication of the Asset Covered Securities Bill, 2001, which enables the introduction of new financial instruments in the Irish market – mortgage and public credit covered securities similar in nature to the long standing German Pfandbriefe securities.
Ireland follows in the footsteps of other European countries such as France, Spain and Luxembourg which have also introduced the enabling legislation to facilitate the issuance of similar securities in recent years.
In a statement released by the Finance Ministry, Mr McCreevy explained: ‘The introduction of the euro has led to the development of an integrated and competitive money market in the euro area. This Bill will enable Irish lenders to finance their activities as efficiently as their European counterparts and demonstrates the Government’s commitment to the further development of Irish capital markets and the IFSC.’
New face at Conduit.
A new appointment at Conduit – Mark Walton from Varetis Communications joins Conduit with over 15 years experience, and will cover the Irish and UK sales regions.
"With Mark’s extensive experience in sales and marketing, I have no doubt that he will help build Conduit Software’s business and profile in the UK and Ireland," said Shane Buckley, CEO Conduit Software. Conduit is one of Ireland’s leading software nakers.