AIB and PTSB spent €20m on adviser fees for purchase of Ulster Bank loans

Seen & Heard: lobbying for Electric Picnic, Bank of Ireland CEO’s view of mortgage rules, and Simon Pratt’s new food venture

AIB and Permanent TSB have spent close to €20 million between them so far this year on advisers' fees relating to their purchases of the assets of rival Ulster Bank, which is exiting the Irish market. The Sunday Times reported that most of the €16 million in transaction fees in AIB's recent half year results related to its purchase of a €4.2 billion book of commercial loans from Ulster. PTSB, meanwhile, spent close to €3 million on advice from Morgan Stanley on a buyout of a €7 billion book of Ulster loans.

Kate Spade for Dublin

Luxury handbags brand Kate Spade New York is looking to expand in the Irish market with a new Dublin outlet, reported the Sunday Times. The brand already operates from the Kildare Village outlets centre but it is also seeking a new high profile outlet on Grafton Street in the capital, the paper suggests.

Desmond to continue lobbying for Electric Picnic festival


MCD concert promoter Denis Desmond says he will spend another week lobbying the Government and local officials in Laois for permission for the Electric Picnic music festival at the end of September, which was refused a licence last week by the local authority on safety grounds. He told the Sunday Times he would "fight... to try and get this reversed". Meanwhile, Trinity College immunologist Luke O'Neill told the Business Post that he believes Electric Picnic should be run as a pilot event next month. He said it could proceed using mandatory vaccine passes and antigen tests as part of a push for more ambitious pilot entertainment events.

Rules on outdoor events

The Business Post also reports that Fáilte Ireland had sought clarity from the Government on the rules for running outdoors events weeks before political controversy arose over an event at the Merrion Hotel organised by former minister Katherine Zappone and attended by, among others, the Tánaiste, Leo Varadkar. The papers says the State agency "sought clarity from the Government at the beginning of July on what qualified as an outdoor event for the hospitality sector and how many people could attend". However, the paper's sources said, no such clarity was forthcoming.

McDonagh’s view on mortgage rules

The Sunday Independent reported that Bank of Ireland chief executive Francesca McDonagh believes there is no point in loosening Central Bank-imposed mortgage lending caps for Irish banks because the problem in the housing market is a lack of supply. A review of the regulator's macro prudential rules is ongoing but McDonagh says she sees the "rationale" for the current restrictions on borrowers. She also told the paper that in her first month in the job at the bank, she was "followed" on the street after a meeting at the Department of Finance and "booed" by people.

Former Avoca chief launches new food venture

Simon Pratt, a member of the business family that sold Avoca Handweavers to US multinational Aramark has re-entered the retail market with an organic food venture in the picturesque Wicklow village of Roundwood. The former Avoca chief told the Sunday Independent that The Roundwood Stores "is the sort of thing when you have a bigger company that you can't really do. When it is a small thing, it is just about passion". The venture is focused on sustainability and local artisan goods, and will sell home-grown vegetables picked fresh every morning.