BoyleSports enters British market with Wilf Gilbert purchase

Seen & Heard: Eir takes €80m charge; Millar still on course for IPO; Google and unions

The Republic’s second-biggest bookmaker BoyleSports has entered the British market through the acquisition of Wilf Gilbert, which operates a 13-shop chain in the English midlands, according to reports in the Sunday Independent and Sunday Times.

Both newspapers said the financial terms of the deal have not been disclosed. BoyleSports intends to follow up with further transactions to bring its overall count to 100 locations in Britain within 12 months, they said.

BoyleSports, founded by John Boyle, is seeking to take advantage of the upheaval in the high-street bookmaker as a result of curbs on fixed-odds betting terminals, which is set to reduce the profitability of betting shops. BoyleSports has never operated such terminals, which are banned in Ireland.

Eir books €80m charge on exiting former HQ

The Sunday Times also reports that phone company Eir has booked an €80 million exceptional charge after vacating its head office in Heuston South Quarter, Dublin, and moving staff to other locations.


The group disclosed the charge to cover "onerous contracts" on its leasehold properties in its latest set of quarterly results, published last week. Eir has relocated more than 1,000 staff to other locations, including the Citywest Business Campus, which is almost 17km southwest of the city centre. The building has been sublet by AIB.

Howard Millar pushes out Sirius IPO until later this year

Former Ryanair finance chief Howard Millar has committed to an initial public offering (IPO) for his new aircraft-leasing business Sirius Aircraft Leasing Fund, later this year, according to the Sunday Independent. The company had put its flotation on ice last November as global equity markets were rattled by turbulence.

The Sunday Independent said there had been suggestions in the industry that Mr Millar might have been forced to scrap the IPO entirely. However, the executive said it had just been delayed until the end of 2019, amid Brexit uncertainties.

Google tells Dublin workforce not to unionise

The Sunday Business Post reports that internet giant Google has told its workers in Dublin not to join a union, according to Siptu.

More than half of the company’s global workforce is made up of temporary staff, vendors and contractors, and the treatment of these workers has been an ongoing issue for the company, the report noted. In recent months a number of Dublin-based workers had approached Siptu about joining the union, but they had been warned by managers not to do so, it said.

Carlyle Cardinal invests over €15m to expand City Bin

Private equity fund Carlyle Cardinal Ireland has invested €15 million in City Bin Co with the aim of doubling its size over the coming years, according to the Sunday Business Post.

Co-founded by chief executive Gene Browne two decades ago, City Bin has waste-management contracts in Dublin and Galway, serving 80,000 households and businesses and employs about 150 people. It plans to use the investment to grow through acquisitions and organic expansion over the next five years, according to the report.

The Carlyle Cardinal Fund has been behind high-profile investments in – and subsequent sales of – chocolate company Lily O'Brien's and payments firm Payzone in recent years.

Joe Brennan

Joe Brennan

Joe Brennan is Markets Correspondent of The Irish Times