O’FLYNN GROU OFFERS TO PAY UP TO €400M TO BLACKSTONE – The Irish Times reports that the O’Flynn Construction group, led by Cork property developer Michael O’Flynn, has submitted a plan to pay up to €400 million to US private equity giant Blackstone by December 31st.

O’Flynn Construction was due to repay Blackstone €225 million by the end of this year under the terms of its loans. The US investor acquired these from the State in May using a subsidiary called Carbon Finance for €1.1 billion – a €700 million discount from their face-value.

Directors of O’Flynn told Blackstone they had full-funded purchasers lined up to acquire assets within the group in the UK and Ireland which would more than meet their year-end obligations.

The group still faces further repayment deadlines but the next large repayment date is believed not to be until 2018.


IRELAND JOINS GLOBAL TAXATION AGREEMENT – The Irish Independent reports that Ireland has signed up to a global tax agreement together with dozens of other countries designed to put an end to banking secrecy and tackle international tax evasion.

The finance ministers of about 50 countries gathered in Berlin yesterday with over 30 of them, including Michael Noonan, signing a pact allowing for the automatic exchange of tax information.

Under the agreement, banks with foreign customers will have to forward details to tax authorities, which in turn will pass the information on to the various national authorities in the countries where the customers are based.

"Banking secrecy, in its old form, is obsolete," German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble said.

Mr Schaeuble, who hosted the Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes meeting in the German capital, said banking secrecy was no longer appropriate when people can "transfer their money all over the world at the press of a button via the internet".


DUBLIN AVIATION FIRM TO ACQUIRE GROUP OF AIRLINES – The Irish Examiner reports that a Dublin-based aviation company has confirmed plans to acquire a group of airlines that will bring its list of affiliate carriers to seven.

ASL Aviation Group has signed an agreement to acquire the Farnair Group of companies in a deal that is expected to be finalised before the end of the year, once all regulatory and customary approvals are received.

ASL owns, operates, and manages a fleet of nearly 90 jet and turboprop aircraft, providing capacity for up to 147 passengers or 40 tonnes of cargo.

Based in Switzerland, the Farnair Group provides a range of aviation services across the world that will complement the existing air services of ASL.

That group comprises four airlines: Farnair Switzerland and Farnair Hungary, Quikjet India, and the joint venture in south-east Asia through K-Mile.

The move will bring the number of affiliate airlines in ASL to seven. It is already made up of Air Contractors in Ireland, Europe Airpost in France, and Safair in South Africa.