DPC contacts Meta over suspected data breach at WhatsApp

Seen & Heard: Revised EV targets; German beer family invests in Irish craft brewery; Staycity’s Dublin ground rent deal; Irish investors sue crypto platform

WhatsApp parent Meta has been contacted by the Data Protection Commission (DPC) over a suspected data breach at the messaging app company, the Sunday Times reported.

The DPC has reportedly contacted the Mark Zuckerberg-led company to ascertain whether the phone numbers of some 487 million WhatsApp users have been “scraped” by hackers, potentially to be sold on to criminal gangs.

It follows reports last week that fraudsters were selling up-to-date mobile numbers of millions of users from 84 countries.

In addition, the Sunday Times said the DPC had been unable to obtain answers from Twitter about the departure of senior officials after its new owner Elon Musk axed roughly half the social media company’s global workforce earlier this month.


Government to revise EV target in new climate plan

The Business Post reported on some of the details of the Government’s new Climate Action Plan, which is due to be published next week.

Among other things, the Coalition will alter its electric vehicle target from nearly one million EVs by 2030, to 30 per cent of the transport fleet by that year. Moneypoint power station in Co Clare, Ireland’s last remaining coal-fired source of electricity, will also be converted to oil next year.

Speaking at the Green Party’s annual conference in Athlone over the weekend, Minister for the Environment Eamon Ryan said the Government would also set out more ambitious targets for solar electricity.

German beer company pour money into Irish craft brewer

Rye River Brewing Company, the Co Kildare-based craft brewery that rebranded from McGargles last year, has received a “multimillion euro” investment from family-owned German brewer Warsteiner, according to the Sunday Independent.

The family-owned German company will take a minority stake in the Irish business, which will use the investment to accelerate its export growth plans.

The Irish Times reported earlier this month that Rye River increased its European sales by €900,000 in 2021 despite a small decline in its Irish revenues due to the lingering impact of pandemic-related public health restrictions on the hospitality sector.

Song Capital brokers rent deal on Dublin aparthotel

In what the paper describes as the “first significant ground rent deal for a hotel in Ireland”, the Sunday Times reported that UK investment company Song Capital Partners has inked a ground rent agreement on Staycity’s €100 million aparthotel in Dublin’s Little Mary Street.

French hospitality group Hova has paid €38 million for the building, writes Linda Daly, with the UK’s largest ground rents manager Alpha Real Capital acquiring the ground rent.

Staycity will operate the 340-room hotel on a 25-year lease.

Irish investor family sue crypto asset platform

The Business Post reported that a trio of Irish tech entrepreneurs are suing crypto asset platform Nexo in the UK, alleging they were forced to sell $126 million (€121 million) worth of cryptocurrencies for less than market value.

Brothers Jason and Owen Morton and their cousin Shane Morton have alleged they were forced to sell a portfolio of Nexo tokens, issued by Nexo Capital, at 60 per cent of the market value. They also claim that the company effectively froze their accounts, leaving them unable to trade or sell nearly 30 million Nexo tokens, nearly 300 bitcoin, and other cryptocurrencies.

In a blog post on its own website, reports Barry J Whyte, Nexo said it would be defending the claim in full, and described the claim as having been “brought opportunistically, some time after the events in question took place”.

Ian Curran

Ian Curran

Ian Curran is a Business reporter with The Irish Times