Today in the press

Thursday 07 February 2013 09.10
A look at some of today's business stories in the newspapers
A look at some of today's business stories in the newspapers

'SECRET MILLIONAIRE' SELLS PARADISE ISLAND FOR €2.85m - A Mayo island, owned by an entrepreneur who featured in RTE's 'Secret Millionaire' series, has been sold for more than €2.85m by receivers. Nadim Sadek is reported to have spent €9m transforming the island of Inish Turk Beg into a world-class luxury destination, writes the Irish Independent. He bought it for about €1m in 2003 when he is reputed to have outbid Boyzone singer Ronan Keating. In 2011 Mr Sadek posed as a journalist in deprived areas of Cork for the 'Secret Millionaire' series. While he was writing cheques for €40,000 on-screen he was also fighting to retain control of the island. However, within months the Clew Bay property was placed under the control of joint receivers Andrew O'Leary and Kieran Wallace of KPMG and they appointed Knight Frank Ireland (KFI) and Sherry FitzGerald as joint agents. Robert Ganly of KFI, who negotiated the sale, said yesterday it took just over four months to sell, following huge interest from international purchasers. A UK resident is understood to have bought the 65-acre island with its innovatively designed six-bedroom house complete with large indoor swimming pool with views of Croagh Patrick, as well as five luxurious island houses. Its facilities also include a floating jetty, a sports complex, facilities for a home cinema, a gym and ceili hall and an outdoor sound system.

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KILDARE VILLAGE OUTLET REPORTS DOUBLE-DIGIT GROWTH IN VISITORS - The shopping outlet Kildare Village has reported a 127% increase in tax refund sales last year. The increase came from an upsurge in visitors from outside the EU, particularly from China, which now accounts for a third of all visitors to Kildare Village says the Irish Times. Visitors from outside the EU are entitled to claim tax back on purchases made while they are here. Last year spending by Chinese visitors to the outlet increased by 136%, while spending from Middle Eastern visitors grew by by 123%. There was also substantial growth in sales from visitors from southeast Asia, the US, Russia and Australia. The average spend per visitor was up by 16%.

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LAWYERS TOLD TO WRITE LESS IN DEVELOPER'S CASE - A British judge wants lawyers to write less in a case involving Irish property developer Patrick McKillen's battle for a control of a £1 billion (€1.16 billion) firm that owns three of London's top hotels, says today's Irish Examiner. Lady Justice Arden said length matters and costs will be reduced if documents are shorter. She said it was "really important" that courts are not "overburdened" with "extensive discursive" written arguments. "What we are after is quality, not quantity, and small is beautiful," she told barristers at a Court of Appeal hearing in London. "It makes it more costly for other people to get legal advice if judgments are longer and advisers have to spend more time reading them. They are going to be longer if the skeleton arguments, witness statements, and all the rest of it are longer than they need to be. Secondly, if judgments are overlong, that makes it difficult to find out what the law is. Thirdly, overlong judgments, as I am sure you know, make English law less competitive when parties or international courts have a choice whether to use English law or not." Mr McKillen - who comes from Belfast but is based in Dublin - last year lost the opening round of his legal battle with David and Frederick Barclay. A High Court judge ruled against Mr McKillen in August following a trial in London.

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DIVIDEND HURDLE ALMOST DERAILED DELL DEAL - The biggest deal to take a company private since the global financial crisis was almost derailed by a debate over whether Dell would continue paying its quarterly dividend over the next few months, according to several people involved in the transaction. The Financial Times says that a special committee had persuaded Silver Lake, the private equity firm, to raise its price from a low first offer of about $12 a share, proposed last year, to $13.60. Final negotiations began in the Manhattan offices of law firm Debevoise & Plimpton on Thursday. Michael Dell, chairman and chief executive of the personal computer maker, had recused himself from all negotiations around price, letting Silver Lake managing partner Egon Durban do the heavy lifting. On the other side of the table was Alex Mandl, a longtime Dell board member who was heading the special committee, along with advisers from JPMorgan and lawyers from Debevoise & Plimpton. But there was a sticking point. Silver Lake wanted the company to stop paying a dividend at once, so the cash would stay on Dell’s balance sheet. In June Dell had announced the first quarterly dividend in its history, and began paying shareholders $0.08 a share in October. This was a gesture of good faith to shareholders, who had watched the share price fall by half last year and Dell continue to miss analysts’ estimates.

Keywords: presswatch