Grey market for Mainstream, a new sugar industry and Jo Malone’s big mistake

Business Today: the best news, analysis and comment from ‘The Irish Times’ business desk

Mainstream Renewable chief executive, Andy Kinsella

Mainstream Renewable chief executive, Andy Kinsella


Early investors in Eddie O’Connor’s Mainstream Renewable Power will be able to trade shares in the company before the end of the year, offering a promised exit opportunity. Joe Brennan has details on this, having conducted a wide-ranging interview with Andy Kinsella, the company’s still relatively new chief executive. Mr Kinsella explains how Mainstream’s backers owe much to a bird charity that looks out for puffins, razorbills and kittiwakes.

Eoin Burke-Kennedy reports on plans to resurrect the Irish sugar industry more than a decade after its demise. Beet Ireland is finalising a deal to buy a 200-acre site on the Carlow-Kildare border for a new, high-tech sugar processing plant.

Sean Mulryan’s Ballymore Properties is firmly back in the big time with a new three-year loan of £82 million from Lloyds in the UK. Peter Hamilton writes that the development funding will be used to “bring forward” the company’s ‘Embassy Gardens’ project in London.

The Pendulum Summit in Dublin heard from Jo Malone yesterday, with Mark Paul on hand to hear her describe her exit from the eponymous fragrance brand as “the greatest mistake of my life”.

Mark reflects on the overall event in Caveat this week, finding it to be “a business-themed event braced with a welcome dose of fun, which is more about living in the moment than changing lives.”

John FitzGerald muses on one of life’s thorniest issues in his economics column, arguing that the way we measure poverty needs to be developed to reflect those living in homelessness or close to it.

Figures on house prices released by the Central Statistics Office yesterday will offer little solace to those struggling to find a home, with the average property nearly 12 per cent more expensive at the end of 2017 than it was a year earlier. There are signs, however, that the Government’s Help-to-Buy scheme is working - Eoin Burke-Kennedy reports.

Tempers are becoming frayed in the retail sector, with Aldi and Lidl both pointing the finger at Tesco and SuperValu over bitter planning battles. Mark Paul looks behind the claims in this week’s Agenda feature to figure out what’s really going on.

And finally, in our Work section, Olive Keogh provides some advice on how best to advance your career. It’s not about being chief executive at 40, she writes, but about keeping things moving upwards while being open to opportunity.

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