FORMER IBRC OFFICIALS TO SUE OVER NOTICE PAY - Three former executives at the Irish Bank Resolution Corporation are to take legal proceedings against their former employer for payment of their notice entitlements, writes the Irish Times. A court hearing will take place on November 15th following applications by former IBRC chief executive Mike Aynsley and two other former senior executives, Tom Hunersen and Richard Woodhouse, last week. Contrary to reports that the three executives were set for a court showdown over unfair dismissal, solicitor Donal Spring said the only proceedings that have been issued are under the Payment of Wages Act seeking payment of their notice entitlements as per their contracts. He said the three former executives have not issued proceedings for unfair dismissal and nor are they seeking millions in damages as reported. “They are simply seeking payment of their notice money as per their contracts of employment,” he said. The lawsuits are being brought against KPMG’s Kieran Wallace and Eamonn Richardson, who were appointed special liquidators to IBRC in February. Under the IBRC Act, the bankers have to seek permission of the court to take legal proceedings against the bank. Last night, a spokesman for the special liquidators said they were “fully aware of the proceedings and dealing with them accordingly”.
TULLOW SHARES FALL AFTER PROTESTS OVER JOBS AT DRILLING SITES - Shares in Tullow Oil fell after the company said it had suspended drilling operations on two blocks in north-west Kenya due to security concerns after local residents held protests demanding more jobs at the sites. "Tullow confirms that there have been a number of demonstrations at Tullow-operated sites in northern Kenya regarding local concerns around employment," Tullow said in a statement. "We have temporarily suspended our operations across Block 10BB and Block 13T in Turkana East and Turkana South sub-counties. The priority at the moment is to ensure the safety and security of our staff." Tullow and Africa Oil have struck oil on both blocks and are in the process of determining its commercial viability. In July, London-listed Tullow, which is already producing oil in Ghana and awaiting government approval to do so in Uganda, estimated resource volumes in the Lokichar basin in Kenya's northwest at 300 million barrels of crude oil. Tullow would not comment on whether any of its staff had to be evacuated from the drilling sites, located in a remote part of the east African nation. Tullow Oil holds a 50% stake and is the operator at both the 13T and 10BB blocks, with Africa Oil holding the rest.
GREEN REIT DEALS TOP €178m - The property investment firm Green REIT has invested €178m in three deals over the past two months, including the IN&M printworks in Citywest and the EBS headquarters in Dublin 4, as well as the commercial portfolio acquired from Danske Bank, according to its interim management statement. The company listed on the Irish Stock Exchange in July and raised €310m for investment opportunities in the Irish commercial property market, writes the Irish Examiner. Green REIT paid €46.5m for the headquarters of the EBS Building Society on Burlington Road, Dublin. The property has an area of 81,203 sq ft and an initial net yield of 8.6%. It is currently let to EBS and there are three years left on the current lease. “Green REIT has exchanged contracts with the vendor, Hardwicke, and the transaction is expected to close in due course,” it said in a statement. The REIT [real estate investment trust] acquired the printing works of Independent News & Media for €4.23m on an initial net yield of 9.1%. The 65,000 sq ft property is based on a 4.4 acre site and it is situated on the outskirts of Dublin. The transaction has been completed.
SWISS LAUNCH CRIMINAL PROBE INTO F1 BRIBERY SCANDAL - Swiss prosecutors have begun a criminal investigation into the Formula One bribery scandal, potentially opening another front in the legal battles being fought by F1 chief executive Bernie Ecclestone. Prosecutors in Geneva will examine the circumstances of a $44m payment to German banker Gerhard Gribkowsky, who worked on the motorsport’s sale to private equity group CVC in 2006. Some former F1 stakeholders claim the deal undervalued the company, reports the Financial Times. The money was paid to Mr Gribkowsky by Mr Ecclestone, the longstanding F1 chief executive and Bambino, the Ecclestone family trust. The investigation comes after Mr Ecclestone was served with an indictment from German prosecutors, investigating allegations of bribery earlier this year. Any new investigation of the sale may complicate CVC’s efforts to float F1 later this year. CVC previously attempted to float F1 - one of the most profitable deals in the private equity group’s history - in 2012 but pulled the initial public offering because of market turmoil. The investigation by Swiss prosecutors was triggered by the receipt of third party complaint. It will attempt to establish the facts of the case, whether it falls under Swiss jurisdiction and whether the payment was criminal under Swiss law. No charges have been laid.