Seen & Heard: Paddy Power merger could lead to job cuts

Celtic Tiger revenue rates, and Microsoft’s warning over Irish universities standards

Odds fall on job cuts

The Sunday Times reports that Paddy Power and Betfair will yield savings of £25 million from their proposed £5 billion merger, raising the possibility of heavy job cuts. A circular about the deal shows that labour savings will constitute half the £50 million annual cost reductions from the merger. Paddy Power has 5,000 staff while Betfair has 1,900.

‘Excessive’ Aryzta salary


, a London-based shareholder advisory firm, has labelled the salary of Aryzta chief executive

Owen Killian


as “excessive”, according to the Sunday Times. The report, issued ahead of Aryzta’s AGM on December 8th, criticised incentive schemes for executives and gave its remuneration policy an “E” grade. The company has recently come under pressure from shareholders and advisory groups over corporate governance.

Boom is back

The Sunday Business Post has been told by a source that the November tax revenues to be revealed by the Government this week are “out of this world”, proving the economy is growing at a rate not seen since the Celtic Tiger. November is a key month as it incorporates income tax returns for the self-employed and also returns for large corporations.

Room for a deal

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is vying with Hilton to buy the Mandarin oriental hotel in Boston, which is being sold by the special liquidators of IBRC. The 14-storey hotel is being sold for $148 million, says the Sunday Business Post, and first bids are due shortly. The report speculates that there could be bankruptcy court approval for the sale in place by January, as IBRC nears the end of the sale of US assets.

Looming PTSB problems

The Sunday Independent reports details of a letter between the Minister for Finance and chairman of

Permanent TSB

which warns of a “real risk” of further problems with the bank’s mortgage products, following on from the tracker mortgage “scandal” that resulted in 50 people losing their homes.

Alan Cook

of PTSB warned

Michael Noonan

in September that the risk of further “customer-impacting” issues has prompted a review of all its mortgage products.

Not quite top of the class


Ireland’s managing director has warned in the Sunday Independent the decline of Irish universities in global rankings could hinder the growth of the technology industry. Cathriona Hallahan said financial supports and student-teacher ratios should be looked at. She said: “You will not get investment from industry or philanthropists into Irish universities if they are not top class”.