Seen and Heard: Irish businesses feel early effects of Brexit

An Post opens current accounts; MEG dispute; Boyleports expands; Barrington joins Finnair

Brexit is already affecting the Irish business landscape, according to the Sunday Business Post. The paper reports that insolvencies rose by 13 per cent in the second half of 2016, with Border counties the worst affected. It also states the value of domestic deals fell by 26 per cent in the final quarter, with financiers attributing this to a decline in corporate confidence on the back of the Brexit vote. It comes as the boss of of food giant 2 Sisters, which owns Green Isle Foods, is quoted in the Sunday Times as saying that Government complacency in the face of Brexit could lead to some companies here moving operations to Britain. Similarly, the chief executive of Dawn Farm Foods warns that without state support there was a real danger of Irish jobs in the food sector being "offshored" to the UK. On a more positive note, the Sunday Independent reports the Irish Stock Exchange has launched a marketing offensive in the UK to encourage British firms to list here as a European gateway to EU investors.

No overdraft with An Post’s current account

An Post

is preparing to launch a current account service for its 1.7 million weekly customers, according to the

Sunday Times


. The paper reports that the account will aim to incentivise customers to channel spending through the post office. There will be no overdraft facility, however, as the post office does not offer credit.

Boardroom battle at Mercantile

A dispute has broken out between shareholders at the

Mercantile Entertainment Group

(MEG), the pub and restaurant group that controls 12 well-known outlets across Dublin. Both the

Sunday Times


Sunday Business Post

report that US shareholder


has initiated legal action against group chief executive

Frank Gleeson

, who is also a shareholder. MEG, which includes such bars as Cafe en Seine and Whelans, was formed last year following the merger of Gleeson’s Mercantile Group with the

Capital Bars Group

, which was owned by EMI-MR and the Setanta Sports founders Mickey O’Rourke and

Leonard Ryan


Boylesports bets on 40 new Irish stores

Bookmaker Boylesports plans to add up to 40 new stores to its Irish network in the next 18 months, according to the

Sunday Independent

. The paper quotes Boylesports’ chief financial officer as saying the firm was “open for business on the acquisition trail”. The firm currently has 210 stores on the island of


, with a deal to acquire a further nine – bought from Bambury Leinster – awaiting approval from the regulator.

Former Aer Lingus chairman flies north

The former chairman of Aer Lingus,

Colm Barrington

, is to join the board of the Nordic airline


. According to the

Sunday Times

, Barrington, who helped negotiate the sale of the Irish airline to IAG in 2015, has been offered the position of vice-chairman. Finnair, though profitable, is repeatedly touted as a potential target of IAG, according to the paper.