In the news: Two executives in Clerys sell-off face court action

Seen & Heard: Property deals on hold, An Post bans van usage

Gordon Brothers executives Malcolm McAuley and Rafael Klotz are expected to resist disqualification proceedings in the High Court. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Gordon Brothers executives Malcolm McAuley and Rafael Klotz are expected to resist disqualification proceedings in the High Court. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill


In the Sunday Business Post it is reported that two senior executives of Gordon Brothers, the private-equity fund that made millions by selling off Clerys, face director disqualification proceedings in the High Court.

Malcolm McAuley and Rafael Klotz were directors of the iconic department store in the run-up to the sale of its property assets and overnight liquidation of its trading business. Mr McAuley and Mr Klotz are expected to resist the disqualification proceedings.

Watchdog extends INM acquisition time

Elsewhere in the Post it is reported that the State’s competition watchdog has extended the times it is allowing itself to examine the acquisition of the Celtic Media Group by Independent News & Media.

INM announced last month that it had closed a deal for the seven regional newspapers, including the Anglo-Celt in Cavan, the Meath Chronicle and the Connaught Telegraph.

Property deals put on hold

The Sunday Independent reports that hundred of millions of euro worth of property deals have been put on hold amid fears the Government will restrict tax exemptions on Irish collective asset-management vehicles and qualifying investor alternative investment funds.

The deals have been stalled pending the proposed introduction of a withholding tax on the funds, which are fully exempt from tax on income and profits, amid concerns that they are being abused for aggressive tax avoidance by some property investors.

An Post restricts van use

The Independent also reports that An Post will make an estimated €500,000 annual saving from a new ban on postal staff using company vans to travel to and from work.

The company has informed 900 drivers, almost a third of its 3,000 workforce, that they can longer use their vehicle as a “company car” and must collect and return it to a depot each day.

Pharma start-up raises €45 million

According to the Sunday Times an Irish pharma start-up that is working on treatments for Alzheimer’s and multiple sclerosis had raised more than €45 million from investors, including the venture capital company of Howard Schultz, the billionaire chief executive of Starbucks.

The Dublin-based Genomics Medicine Ireland deal was led by US group Arch Venture partners and other investors include Polaris Partners and Google Ventures.

Bank of Ireland moves on pensions

The Times also reports that Bank of Ireland is offering generous top-ups to encourage former employees to surrender their pension rights by opting out of its defined-benefit scheme before they retire.

The move is the latest attempt by the lender to curb its growing pension deficit, which has jumped by €450 million since the start of the year to reach €1.2 billion.

William Hill ‘in merger talks’

According to the Sunday Telegraph, William Hill is in talks with the Canadian owner of PokerStars over a potential £5 billion merger which could create one of the world’s biggest online betting giants.

The talks come just weeks after the £2.6 billion company rejected an ambitious three-way takeover deal launched by Rank and 888 in the summer.