Today in the press

Tuesday 20 May 2014 10.18
Today in the press
Today in the press

AIB MOVES AGAINST O’REILLY OVER DEBT – The Irish Times reports that AIB is trying to force Sir Anthony O’Reilly, the one-time billionaire and former chief executive of Independent News & Media, to immediately repay loans of at least €4m, secured on his luxurious holiday home in Glandore, west Cork.

The bank will seek a High Court judgment against Sir Anthony, whose family was ousted from INM by Denis O’Brien in 2012.

It will also seek judgment against Brookside Investments, the company that owns the coastal estate in Glandore, as well as Indexia Holdings, Sir Anthony’s private investment vehicle that holds his near 5% stake in INM and his share of the oil explorer Providence Resources.

The bank declined to comment on its action, while the former media mogul, who has a home in the Bahamas and a stud in Kildare, could not be reached. Calls to his sons, Gavin O’Reilly, former INM chief executive, and Tony O’Reilly Jr, Providence chief executive, were not returned.

The bank began to move in on Sir Anthony last Friday, when it issued proceedings against him, the first step in obtaining a summary judgment. Sir Anthony will have the opportunity to dispute the claim.

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SOME RELIEF FOR SETANTA CUSTOMERS – The Irish Examiner reports that consumers and small businesses left out of pocket following the collapse of Setanta Insurance will be able to claim back part of their premiums if they paid by credit card.

Mastercard has confirmed that customers who used their credit cards to purchase insurance premiums with Setanta Insurance are entitled to claim back a portion of the amount paid.

Some 75,000 Irish consumers have been left uninsured after the Malta-based parent company of Setanta Insurance went into liquidation, many believing they lost all of the money they handed over when they paid for 12 months’ cover up front.

A spokesperson for Mastercard confirmed that if a customer had used their credit card to pay for the insurance than they would be able to claim back a portion of the money they paid out.

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HIBERNIA REIT BUYS TWO MORE DUBLIN SITES – The Irish Independent reports that property investment firm Hibernia REIT has bought up two buildings and a site near Dublin Castle for €16m today.

The company also said today that it expects Dublin rents to continue to rise.

Hibernia said it has raised €385m to date while €223m has been invested in five acquisitions.

Kevin Nowlan, chief executive officer, WK Nowlan REIT Management, said:  “Looking ahead, we expect continued growth in rents and capital values in our target markets. "Given our contacts and knowledge of the Dublin market, we are confident in our ability to continue to find attractive investment opportunities."

The company has bought The Chancery Building, The Chancery Apartments and the adjoining Napper Tandy Site on Chancery Lane, Dublin 8 for €16m.

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CAMERA COMPANY GOPRO FILES FOR IPO – The Financial Times reports that GoPro, the action camera maker, will test investors’ appetite for investing in consumer electronics after the recent drop in share prices among internet companies, as it filed for its initial public offering.

Filings to the Securities and Exchange Commission published on Monday revealed that GoPro has been profitable for several years but that revenues declined in the first quarter of 2014 compared with the previous year.

The California-based company is planning to raise approximately $400m, said one person familiar with the situation, but details have yet to be finalised. A spokesperson declined to comment, citing quiet period rules. A place holder on the filing said it would raise at least $100m.

Ten years after launching its first camera, GoPro’s IPO could make its founder and chief executive Nick Woodman a billionaire, as he holds almost half of the stock in the company. 

Other investors poised for a payday include Riverwood Capital, a Silicon Valley investor, and Foxconn, the Taiwanese electronics manufacturer which invested $200m in GoPro in 2012 at a $2.25bn valuation.