DRUMM GAVE WIFE HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS AS MARRIAGE WAS 'SERIOUSLY STRAINED' - Former Anglo Irish Bank chief executive David Drumm says he transferred hundreds of thousands of euro to his wife in the autumn of 2008 as the banking crisis deepened because his marriage was “seriously strained” and she insisted on “money of her own” in case something happened to him. Mr Drumm’s lawyers make the claim in new filings in his US bankruptcy case, in which he and his former bank, now Irish Bank Resolution Corporation, summarise their cases before a trial starts on May 21st to decide whether he can emerge from bankruptcy free of debt. He owes €8.5 million to State-owned IBRC, writes the Irish Times. The bank argues that Mr Drumm’s “nefarious transfers” of cash and property to his wife shielded assets from creditors and that these undisclosed transfers along with false claims made in his bankruptcy proceedings in October 2010 should not entitle him to a discharge from bankruptcy. “Together, they prove a pattern of self-serving conduct and Drumm’s fraudulent intent,” it argues. “Drumm has played fast and loose with his creditors, the trustee and this bankruptcy case.” Mr Drumm’s side claims that most transfers fell outside the year leading up to his bankruptcy, blocking any fraudulent claim against him, and that any failure to disclose information and the value of assets in his bankruptcy statements were not intentional but “honest mistakes”.
AIRCRAFT LESSOR AVOLON 'COULD BE WORTH $2 BILLION IN STOCK MARKET FLOTATION' - Dublin-based aircraft-leasing firm Avolon, which was established by Clare entrepreneur Domhnal Slattery, could be worth as much as $2 billion (€1.4 billion) if it floats on the stockmarket, according to an analysis by Bloomberg. Last month, it emerged that Avolon had hired JP Morgan Chase and Morgan Stanley to explore a possible stockmarket listing or a sale of the business, says the Irish Independent. Avolon is owned by private-equity firms including Oak Hill Capital Partners, Cinven and CVC Capital Partners. A listing would see it make a stockmarket debut in the United States. The Government of Singapore Investment Corporation is also an investor in the lessor. Avolon has the youngest fleet of any global aircraft leasing firm and has 47 customers around the world. At the end of the first quarter of this year, it had 115 aircraft in service with clients and a total committed fleet, which includes orders, of 202 aircraft. An analysis by Bloomberg reckons Avolon could be valued at between $1.5 billion and $2 billion based on generic fleet values, a typical capital structure and market valuations.
APPLE'S AHRENDTS IN LINE FOR $68m PAYDAY - Apple has welcomed its long-awaited new retail chief Angela Ahrendts with a stock grant worth up to $68m. Ms Ahrendts left her previous role as chief of Burberry, the British luxury group where she was one of the UK’s best-paid executives, to join Apple last week. Her stock award coincided with Apple’s share price topping $600 for the first time since the end of October 2012, just days before her predecessor John Browett left the company in Apple’s biggest management reshuffle in years, reports the Financial Times. Apple has been waiting since then for a replacement to Mr Browett, who joined from Dixons, a British retailer, and now heads Monsoon Accessorize, the clothing group. The unusually long vacancy in Apple’s executive team came in spite of the importance its chief Tim Cook places on its retail network as an “incredible competitive advantage”. Apple has a history of generously rewarding its executives. Mr Browett could have received more than $55m worth of stock over four years if he had stayed at Apple, rather than lasting only six months. On Monday, an Apple regulatory filing showed that Ms Ahrendts had been granted 113,334 restricted stock units, vesting according to time spent at the company and share price performance.
STARBUCKS TO LAUNCH CHEAPER COFFEE BRAND IN UK AS SALES DECLINE - US coffee giant Starbucks is bringing its cheaper coffee brand to the UK to compete with rivals such as McDonalds as it faces flagging sales, writes the London Independent. Starbucks bought Seattle’s Best Coffee in 2003 and has been expanding it in the US where it has more than 400 cafes and sells it across 50,000 locations. It has now agreed a deal with retailers Asda, KFC and Kiddicare to sell Seattle’s Best Coffee espresso drinks and filtered coffee in their cafés here. Last month Starbucks revealed its first UK sales fall since it opened in 1998. It reported sales fell from £413 million to £399 million in the year to September 29. When Starbucks launched Seattle’s Best Coffee in the US analysts said it was an answer to competition from fast food outlets selling cheaper coffee.