CENTRAL BANK TO REVEAL COSTS OF PROBE INTO IRISH NATIONWIDE BUILDING SOCIETY - The Central Bank of Ireland is unable to say how much it has spent on its 10-year investigation into Irish Nationwide Building Society and its former chief executive Michael Fingleton.

The part of the inquiry relating to Mr Fingleton (82) was controversially shelved last December due to his ill health. A subsequent freedom of information request from the Irish Independent for records outlining the costs of the inquiry was rejected, with the Central Bank claiming that gathering the information would take too long and would "unreasonably interfere" with the work of its staff. Mr Fingleton, who retired in 2009 with a pension pot of €30m, could have faced a fine of up to €500,000 if he had been found to have breached banking rules. But the three-member panel conducting the inquiry found the module could not be concluded in the absence of written or oral submissions from him. The costs of the inquiry are believed to be substantial, particularly since it began public hearings in 2016. Documents previously seen by the Irish Independent showed €3m in legal and administrative costs in an 18-month period alone. But this is thought to be a fraction of what has been paid out to date. A legal practitioner team which assisted the inquiry and led the questioning of witnesses had four barristers, including Brian O'Moore and Niamh Hyland, who both recently became High Court judges. The Central Bank's enforcement unit was also represented by three counsel.

PENNEYS TO EXPAND ITS PRESENCE IN DUNDRUM - Fashion retailer Penneys is in advanced discussions with the owners of Dundrum Town Centre in Dublin to take over two floors currently occupied by House of Fraser. 

Sports Direct-controlled House of Fraser will vacate its premises in Dundrum in the coming three months, having failed to agree a deal with the centre's owners, Hammerson and Allianz. Brown Thomas will take over the lease for the ground floor and lower ground floor and embark upon a multi-million revamp of the space while also closing its BT2 outlet. Penneys is on track to take the remaining space although a deal has yet to be agreed. It is understood that discussions between the retailer and Dundrum Town Centre are advanced. The departure of House of Fraser comes after its near collapse last year before it was saved by Sports Direct. In response to The Irish Times reporting of the Brown Thomas deal to take two floors in Dundrum, a House of Fraser spokeswoman confirmed that the outlet will close "within the next three months". House of Fraser was previously reported to be paying annual rent of €2.4 million for the entire 12,999sq m (139,930sq ft) store, but figures contained in an administrator’s report in 2018, after the UK retailer ran into financial difficulties, reveal it had rental costs of some €103,000 a month at that time. This would have equated to €1.2 million per year.

CORK'S iNUA HOTELS GROUP IN BUY-OUT - The management buy-out of Cork-based iNua Hospitality has been completed.

It is a collection of eight Irish-owned and managed hotels, including the Radisson Blu hotels in Cork, Limerick, Athlone, and Sligo, and Muckross Park Hotel in Killarney. With 900 hotel rooms and more than 1,200 employees, it is one of Ireland's largest regional hotel groups. Noel Creedon is stepping back as chief executive and taking up a role as a non-executive director on iNua's board, with ownership transferred to executive directors Sean O'Driscoll and Paul Fitzgerald, says the Irish Examiner.. Mr Fitzgerald said the management buy-out has been carefully designed to ensure continuity in the mandate from investors under existing management in iNua. "Sean and I look forward to working with the dynamic team that has been assembled and growing iNua's footprint in hospitality into this new decade," he said. Mr Creedon said he thoroughly enjoyed developing iNua over the past eight years. "We have built a highly effective team that is committed to always delivering for our customers. I now look forward to supporting the executive team as part of the board of iNua Hospitality plc," he added.

BREAK-UP FOR GLAXOSMITHKLINE WILL COST £2.4 BILLION - The break-up of Glaxosmithkline is set to become one of the most expensive corporate demergers to date after the drugs group estimated that it would cost £2.4 billion. 

The FTSE 100 company yesterday issued details of its ambitious plans to spin-off its consumer healthcare joint venture with Pfizer via a listing on the London Stock Exchange in 2022. A "new GSK" will be created to focus on its main pharmaceuticals and vaccines businesses under the restructuring, which was first unveiled more than a year ago. Glaxo, based in west London, is one of the world's biggest drugs companies and was formed through the merger of Glaxo Wellcome and Smithkline Beecham in 2000. It employs about 95,000 people.