Winthrop hires Rothschild for potential sale

Seen & Heard: Capping energy bills and Aer Lingus job cuts

Dublin-based engineering group Winthrop Technologies has hired investment bank Rothschild to advise on a potential sale in 2023, two years after the company tested the market for a potential deal, the Sunday Times reported.

The company could achieve a valuation of well in excess of €250 million, according to the newspaper.

Winthrop retained PwC in early 2021 to advise on a sale process, with documents provided to interested parties at the time projecting its revenues would top €1 billion by 2024. However, the company, where founder Barry English retains a 65 per cent stake, decided in the end on an equity-release refinancing.

CityJet and Air Nostrum tie-up back on course

The Sunday Times also reported that a merger plan between Irish carrier Cityjet and Spanish regional airline group Air Nostrum has been revived.


While both sides announced in 2018 that they were in tie-up talks, they were forced to concentrate on their own business during the pandemic. CityJet entered and exited examinership in 2020 with €126 million owed to connected parties and €18 million of trade credit written off.

The newspaper cites Air Nostrum chairman Carlos Bertomeu as saying in an interview that talks on reviving the deal were “going very well” and that he hoped to put a shape on a transaction in the coming months.

Government to mull capping energy bills

The Government is set to reconsider putting a price cap on energy bills in the new year, having previously warned that doing so would pose a risk to public finances, the Business Post reports

Such a move would cost billions of euros. However, the newspaper said that Germany’s recent move to put the brakes on electricity and gas bills for households and industry from January has made such a plan “a more attractive prospect” in the Republic.

The Department of Environment, Climate Action and Communications has asked the ESRI to carry out modelling on what putting price cap guarantees on a portion of monthly energy consumption for households and some businesses would amount to, it said.

Altada founding investor teams up for bid

The Business Post also reports that a founding investor in Altada, the troubled Cork tech start-up that saw a provisional liquidator appointed last week, has joined forces with the company’s biggest shareholder to make a takeover bid.

The paper said that Jeffrey Leo, who last week successfully petitioned for the appointment of that provisional liquidator, said his bid with Texas-based asset manager Rocktop Partners involves keeping existing shareholders and employees on board.

Other parties circling the business include JKO Capital, a vehicle led by Eddie Jordan, the former Formula One boss, and Keith O’Loughlin, a one-time executive with US-listed slot machines maker Scientific Games.

Aer Lingus starts Belfast talks on job cuts

Aer Lingus has started consulting staff based in Belfast over potential job cuts due to issues arising from Brexit, the Sunday Independent reports.

The carrier was forced to suspend its Belfast City to London Heathrow service in October when its temporary operating licence came to an end, it noted. The company has 30 staff based in Belfast, it said.

The workers were told that Aer Lingus is likely to cease operating the route, which had been in existence for a decade and a half.

No insurance claims can be made against e-scooter users

The Business Post also report that an upcoming road traffic bill will ensure that drivers and pedestrians will not be able to make insurance claims for injury or damage caused by users of e-scooters involved in accidents.

The Government will not impose any age limit, need for a licence or tax on users of e-scooters capable of speeds of up to 25km per hour because it wants to encourage their use, the newspaper said.

“They will, in effect, be treated similarly to push bikes, where, if there is an accident, it is a private civil matter between the rider or owner and the person or property owner they are involved in an accident with,” the report cites David Fitzgerald, chief executive of the Motor Insurance Bureau of Ireland, as saying.

Still, it will be difficult to find the identity of an e-scooter rider involved in an incident, as they will not need to carry a number plate.

MIBII is currently dealing with six claims arising from incidents caused by e-scooters and bicycles, according to the report.

Joe Brennan

Joe Brennan

Joe Brennan is Markets Correspondent of The Irish Times