PUBLISHING HOUSE BACK IN IRISH HANDS AS GILL FAMILY BUY OUT MACMILLANS - Publishing house Gill & Macmillan is back in Irish hands after the Gill family took full control of the business. The Gill family bought out Macmillan Science and Education, who had been joint owners of the Dublin-based business for the past 40 years, says the Irish Independent. In a statement the company said the new ownership structure would have "no trading consequences for the business" and the Gill family, alongside the company's management team, "looks forward to building on its success". The Macmillan name will be dropped at a future date. The development marks the next chapter for the Gill family, whose name has been synonymous with books in Ireland for 180 years, ever since Michael Henry Gill was appointed printer to Dublin University in 1833. Six generations of the family have now been involved.
IRISH LIFE BUYS BALLSBRIDGE OFFICE BUILDING FOR €15.5m - Irish Life has re-entered the commercial property investment market after eight years, buying a rented office building for €15.5 million opposite the former Jurys Hotel at Pembroke Road in Dublin 4, writes the Irish Times. The investment will show a net yield of 7.15%. The State’s largest property fund has up to €200 million available to spend on a range of key investments expected to be offered for sale over the year at heavily discounted prices by Nama and the banks. However, with a wide range of overseas buyers now set to be in competition for the distressed properties, Irish Life will have its work cut out to deliver on its promise to buy high-quality city office buildings in the light of a perceived shortage of space. Martin O’Reilly of Irish Life said yesterday the demand for office space was resilient despite the economic downturn. Commercial property values in the Dublin area, which fell by 65% over more than five years, have finally shown signs of stabilising and even bouncing back.
FLEXTRONIC TARGETS MEDICAL DEVICES - Global logistics company Flextronics has secured high-level authorisation which it hopes will allow the company grow in to the medical devices sector, reports the Irish Examiner. The company’s Raheen site in Limerick has secured ISO 13485 certification, which demonstrates the existence of a highly effective quality management system which meets international regulatory, safety, and quality concerns specific to the medical device industry. Flextronics, which employs 300 people in Ireland, hopes the medical devices industry will be key to growth in Ireland. As manufacturing has been moving away from Ireland and Europe, Flextronics has had to target new business areas. The quality certifications enable the company to tailor specific solutions to customers in the med-tech and pharma industry such as the medical device sector, while also enhancing Flextronics’s ability to support customers in regulatory audits from bodies such as the FDA. Tom Clancy, Flextronics general manager, supply chain solutions, said that the experience with pharmaceutical companies has made them the natural choice for medical devices companies.
CHINA WIDENS PROBE INTO DRUG PRICING AND CORRUPTION - Pressure on pharmaceutical companies operating in China intensified on Wednesday as mainland authorities announced a broadening of their investigation into drug pricing and corruption in the healthcare sector, says the Financial Times. The government of Shanghai - whose public hospitals buy a large proportion of medicines sold in China - instructed hospitals to look for corruption in the purchasing and prescribing of drugs, as well as in clinical trials conducted with hospital participation. In an apparently separate move, the central government’s State Administration for Industry and Commerce (SAIC) announced that it would look for “bribery, fraud and anti-competitive practices” in a wide range of industries that touch the lives of consumers, from drugs and medical services to school admissions. News that additional government authorities are getting involved in the China drug probe came as Novartis said it was investigating whistleblower allegations that it pressured a senior saleswoman to bribe doctors to drive sales of one of its oncology medicines. A Chinese newspaper said a former Novartis sales representative told the paper that she was ordered to secure Rmb650,000 ($106,000) in sales of one of the Swiss company’s drugs by providing Rmb50,000 to doctors.