CAFE OWNER TO SUE CLERYS DIRECTORS OVER 'SHORTFALL' - Lorraine Sweeney, the former Clerys cafe concession owner, has indicated she intends to personally sue Gordon Brothers executives Malcolm MacAulay and Rafael Klotz over the shortfall in cash owed to her company when Clerys was put into liquidation in June.
The men were directors of Clerys when it was sold by Gordon Brothers in the hours before its trading arm was liquidated by its new owners, says the Irish Times. Solicitors for LS Catering wrote in October to solicitors for wound-up Clerys trading arm OCS Operations, accusing it of “misappropriating” Ms Sweeney’s firm’s cash. LS says it is owed €46,000. The letter alleged Mr MacAulay, as a director of OCS, is “responsible” for the alleged misappropriation. The letter made no mention of Mr Klotz, although other court documents indicate LS Catering also holds him responsible for the alleged misappropriation. The letter further alleges that a Gordon Brothers “representative” instructed staff at the Clerys cafe to lodge close to €2,000 in takings into the OCS safe in the afternoon of June 12th, after it had been placed into liquidation but before staff and concessionaires knew it was to be shut.
TOP MEAT PROCESSOR DUNBIA SET TO GO ON THE BLOCK AS NEW OWNERS SOUGHT - One of the biggest meat processors on the island could be put up for sale as the business actively begins looking for new buyers.
Dunbia, the Co Tyrone beef, lamb and pork processor is one of Northern Ireland's biggest firms, turning over almost £800m (€1.1 billion). It's understood a teaser document has now been prepared, due to be sent out to businesses who may have an interest in snapping up the Dungannon-headquartered firm. That's normally the first step in establishing interest in a business, before a formal bidding process would begin. Any potential sale could include the whole business, or a large part of its operations, which are scattered throughout the UK and the Republic, says the Irish Independent. One market source said a "formal process" would be the next step. He also said interest was likely to come from outside Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK. A spokesman for Dunbia confirmed the business is now "considering options for maximising the potential of the company going forward" after having "received several serious expressions of interest from would-be investors over the past two years".
TIPPERARY DAIRY TECHNOLOGY FIRM OCULER TEST TO SAVE DAIRY €200m A YEAR - Tipperary dairy technology firm Oculer has developed microbiology testing which could save the Irish dairy sector up to €200m annually in reduced farmer penalties, superior product shelf-life, and enhanced protein concentration.
A Technopath Group spin-off, Oculer’s innovative system will cut detection of milk-spoiling bacteria from the current global standard of 72 hours to 24 hours, with an alarm to signal potential risk of bacteria triggered in as little as six hours. Oculer say this is the biggest breakthrough globally for dairy bacteria testing in the past 100 years, says the Irish Examiner. Oculer chief executive Brian Byrne said: “Oculer also informs farmers where the source of the problem originated. Thermoduric bacteria can only be effectively eliminated when the source is accurately and reliably identified.” Thermoduric bacteria are naturally occurring bacteria that survive pasteurisation, and are responsible for downstream spoilage of finished dairy products, for reduced shelf-life and reduced protein concentrations. Oculer is targeting a €150m annual bacteria testing market with its new test. The company will create at least 20 jobs in sales, R&D and engineering over the next two years.
TAXES ENSURE JIHADIS' INCOME AS BOMBING SEEKS TO CUT OFF OIL CASH - Even under jihadi rule, death and taxes remain the two great certainties of life. Some learn that the hard way.
As Isis officials announced a religious tithe known as zakat last summer, Mansour, a 26-year-old grocery storekeeper in eastern Syria, stalled payment while he tried to cook his books. A week later, four Isis officials stormed into his shop, ordered him outside, and tallied the bill themselves - to his dismay they based their calculation on the retail price of his stock. There were no price tags on the tinned beef, so one tax collector rode around town on his motorbike comparing canned beef prices in other stores. Five hours later, the audit was complete. The bill: 32,500 Syrian lira (about $108). “They told me, ‘You liar . . . How will victory be achieved if you’re not paying zakat?’” Mansour told the Financial Times via an internet site. Like all those from Isis territory who were interviewed by the FT, Mansour requested that his real name be withheld for his safety. Syria’s oil may ostensibly be the militant group’s most profitable resource but even if US, French and Russian planes succeed in trying to bring down its crude production, local revenues like taxes could keep the Isis economy churning. An FT investigation indicates Isis earns at least as much from taxation, extortion and confiscation as oil. Western intelligence officials, former Isis fighters and people living in Isis-controlled territory say zakat, fees and confiscations fund the salaries that attract recruits and finance services such as street cleaning and bread subsidies that Isis touts as proof of statehood.