Seen or heard


Weekend digest:US private equity firm Gores is one of a number of parties believed to be interested in Greenstar, the Irish waste management firm taken over by its lenders last week.

Gores sought to buy the company earlier this year for €50 million and has rekindled its interest following the appointment of a receiver, according to the Sunday Business Post.

Another US player, Oaktree Capital, is also believed to be interested, the newspaper reports.


Goldman Sachs is joining forces with an Australian mortgage company to buy a €600 million Irish residential loan book from GE Capital, it is reported in the Sunday Times and Sunday Business Post.

The Australian firm, Pepper Home Loans, is fronting the deal, with Goldman Sachs providing finance. The loan book is reportedly being sold at a 60 per cent discount to face value.

The Sunday Business Post also reports that KBC Bank is seeking to open a high-profile retail branch adjacent to the Baggot Inn on Dublin’s Baggot Street as it continues its drive into the retail banking market.


Coolmore, the bloodstock empire controlled by John Magnier, has launched a campaign to stop the development of a coal mine just 500m from its Australian stud farm.

Magnier’s son Tom is organising the campaign over fears that pollution from the mining operation could damage the business, according to the Sunday Independent.


Richard Branson, whose Virgin Trains recently lost the franchise to operate the London to Scotland service it has held for 15 years, has offered to run the West Coast line for free for several months if it would allow the British parliament time to scrutinise the government’s decision to award the operation to FirstGroup. The Sunday Telegraph reports Branson has made a last-ditch appeal to delay the signing of a 13-year contract with FirstGroup.