Seen & Heard: Irish media ownership never more concentrated, says Gavin O’Reilly

‘Enormous cull’ from IMN editorial and commercial, says former chief executive

Gavin O’Reilly: said  media ownership in Ireland is more concentrated than ever. Photograph: Frank Miller

Gavin O’Reilly: said media ownership in Ireland is more concentrated than ever. Photograph: Frank Miller


AIB did not improve its position when it moved against Sir Anthony O’Reilly, according to his son, Gavin, who gave an interview to the Sunday Business Post.

O’Reilly said his father had been desperately trying to repay his creditors when the bank moved against him. “I think the actions by AIB precipitated what he thought was a very orderly and sensible way of dealing with his affairs, and blew it all out into the open”.

He said his father had had such an incredible career that the “balance sheet” was very much in his favour, but that his current difficulties were not pleasurable for him or his family.

The former chief executive of Independent News & Media said media ownership in Ireland is more concentrated than it has ever been before and that there has been an “enormous cull” of some very talented people from the editorial and commercial sides of the company in recent times.

Gavin O’Reilly was interviewed in California where he is the chief executive of The Agency Group, which represents artists such as Dolly Parton and Guns N’Roses.

Department considering selling €300m of PTSB shares

The Department of Finance is considering selling up to €300 million worth of shares in Permanent TSB as the bank prepares to place shares with private investors.

The bank is seeking to raise up to €400 million through issuing new shares so as to meet ECB capital requirements. The State may move to sell part of its stake as a result of the positive reaction to the planned Permanent TSB share issue, according to the Sunday Times.

Strong interest from international investors should underpin the valuation of the bank, which is 99 per cent owned by the State following a €4 billion bailout during the crisis.

The bank may use raised finance to buy back a €400 million contingent convertible bond from the State. The bond carries an annual coupon of 10 per cent.

Dundrum centre plans hit bump

Plans for a second phase of the Dundrum Shopping Centre have hit a bump in the road after Dún Laoghaire Rathdown County Council refused planning permission for an extension over concerns about the risk of flooding.

The centre, which was developed by Joe O’Reilly’s Chartered Land, is controlled by the National Asset Management Agency and the decision is a blow for the agency, which is expected to put it on the market later this year, according to the Sunday Times. The asking price is likely to be more than €1 billion.

Gary McGann the best paid chief executive in Irish top 20 firms 

Smurfit Kappa chief executive Gary McGann is the best paid chief executive among the top 20 companies on the Irish Stock Exchange, according to the Sunday Independent. The paper and packaging boss was paid €7.2 million last year, including share awards worth more than €3 million.

Owen Killian of Aryzta came second, at €5.9 million, while Albert Manifold, of CRH, in third position, got a measly €4.25 million. 

Apple contacts Irish banks ahead of Apple Pay rollout

Apple has begun to contact Irish banks ahead of a possible rollout of its wireless Apple Pay technology later this year, according to the Sunday Independent.

The technology allows iPhone and Apple Watch owners to pay for items in shops by swiping their device. It has proved to be a hit in the US, with two out of three iPhone 6 owners using it since it was launched last year. Visa and Mastercard have both signed up for their credit cards to be used in conjunction with the system..