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Weekly Round Up, January 28, 2014

Published on Jan 27 2014 4:18 PM

Weekly Round Up, January 28, 2014

A new loan fund for Small and Medium business has been launched by Bibby Financial Services Ireland (BFSI), the lending subsidiary of UK multinational Bibby Line Group. The €60 million loan fund guarantees that credit decisions will be made within five days, whereas it normally takes 21 days for applications to be decided on. BFSI offers loans via its website and by phone, as it does not have any branches in Ireland. The financial services firm is set to target SMEs that have had no success gaining a loan with their banks. The Irish Small and Medium Enterprise Association (ISME) revealed recently that about 50% of companies were rejected for loans by their banks in Ireland last year. BFSI have been present in Ireland since 2006, but now plans to expand its business here over the next three years. 

Glanbia has acquired the Danish supplier of energy drinks and protein shakes, Nutramino for approximately €20 million. Nutamino supplies nearly 90% of the Danish fitness market through gyms, retailers and forecourt stores, and also makes energy bars and whey body-building supplements. The acquisition will give Glanbia a significant presence in Scandinavia, as Nutramino has operations in Norway, Sweden, Iceland and Finland, as well as France. Founded in 2002, the Danish firm will continue to be run by its founders Thomas Kjaergaard and Per Jensen. Glanbia entered the sports supplements and nutrition market in 2008 when it acquired US company Optimum Nutrition. The global market for sports nutrition goods is estimated at more than €5 billion. About 70 % of Glanbia’s €700 million sales in the segment come from the US, with Europe accounting for about 20%.

Irish whiskey brand Dunville has returned to the market after a 80 year hiatus. Dunville, based in Kircubbinin, Co. Down, was forced to close down in 1935. This was due to set backs such as prohibition in the 1920s in the US- one of the company’s largest export markets. The whiskey company was founded in 1801 at the Echlinville Distillery and has now been granted a licence to produce whiskey once again. Echlinville managing director Shane Braniff said that the stock is limited and will disappear quickly. “Whiskey, of course, has to mature in a cask for at least three years. We are able to provide the Dunville whiskey now because we were able to purchase a consignment from another Irish distillery and finish and blend it ourselves.” Dunville are developing a state-of-the-art distillery complex in the Echlinville Estate to produce its premium VR again. 

Enterprise Ireland (EI) will invest €600,000 in 12 female-driven businesses as part of Government plans to boost the number of female entrepreneurs. The financial support will come from EI’s Competitive Start Fund For Female Entrepreneurs and will allocate funds to businesses in consumer products, medical devices, e-health, online applications, traded services and enterprise software sectors. Small Business Minister John Perry said that a key part of the Government’s Action Plan for Jobs is encouraging more businesses to start-up, grow, and create jobs. “Making sure that we have an increase in the number of female-led start-ups is part of that strategy,” he said. Last year, there was a 100% rise in female start-up businesses according to EI. 

Irish bakery firm Johnston, Mooney & O’Brien have renewed its sponsorship with Cricket Ireland for the next two years. The sponsorship deal was initiated after ireland’s 2011 World Cup win against England in Bangalore. Cricket Ireland Head of Commercial, Dennis Cousins said, “Johnston, Mooney and O’Brien initially got involved because of the heroic efforts of the players against England. We are extremely pleased to have them stay on as sponsor past Trent Johnson’s retirement, highlighting a belief in the Cricket Ireland story and the growing number of fans and players alike. It is great to have the support of an Irish company like Johnston Mooney & O’Brien, who share as rich a tradition and heritage in this country as Irish cricket.” The Irish Cricket team are about to embark on a month-long tour of the West Indies, followed by the ICC World Twenty20, and of course 2015 sees Ireland play in their third consecutive World Cup in Australia and New Zealand.

Glenilen Farm has launched a range of new desserts, which come in single servings. The West Cork company’s new trio of sweet offerings includes Chocolate Mousse, Coconut and Passion Fruit Panna Cotta and Zingy Lemon Cheesecake. Valerie Kingston, co-owner of Glenilen said she developed the Zingy Lemon Cheesecake for the Skibbereen Farmer’s market back in the late 90’s. She said, “New product development is core to Glenilen Farm’s growth and these desserts showcase our commitment to developing great tasting authentic products.” Co-owner Alan Kingston commented on the range, “We designed these desserts to provide a branded single dessert solution with exceptional taste and quality to the market.” The launch coincides with the recent membership of Glenilen Farm to Love Irish Food. Each serving has an RSP of €1.75.

Premier Foods has agreed with The Gores Group to operate its Bread business as a stand-alone venture trading under the brand name Hovis to reinvigorate the brand. The venture will enable Premier Foods to maximise value in the Bread business through securing new investment, as well as retaining the opportunity to share in the expected future gains from this investment as the business continues its return to profitable growth. The Gores Group will pay €30 million for a 51% stake in the joint venture, of which €15 million is deferred for future business performance. Currently the bread business is valued at an enterprise value of €87.5 million. The transaction provides short-term cash-flow to Premier Foods of approximately £28m to be invested in Grocery business. Gavin Darby, Chief Executive Officer of Premier Foods, said: "I'm delighted that we've found a strong partner in The Gores Group who will help provide the investment necessary to develop the Bread business. This will be good for our customers, our employees and all those connected with the business. A joint venture arrangement also means we will share in the future gains from this investment as the business continues its return to profitable growth, helping us maximise value creation. Both parties are excited by the opportunities this transaction brings."

Musgrave Group are said to be considering entering the mobile phone market. The Irish Independent reported that the owners of SuperValu and Superquinn are looking at the possibility of offering a mobile phone service to customers. Chris Martin, CEO told the Irish Independent “All the time, we’re using our brand framework to really test where we should be,” adding that mobile phone services is just one of the options the group would look at. The mobile phone market has been a successful move for Tesco here in Ireland, which now has a 3.7% share of the market. There are over 5.6 million mobile phone subscribers in Ireland, according to figures to the end of September.

Lucy Freedman of Robert Roberts was named the winner of a a New Year 'Do you smooth or do you juice Hamper' including a state of the art Kenwood smoothie maker, fresh punnets of Keelings strawberries, raspberries and blueberries, a berry chopping board, and a recipe booklet. The competition coincides with Keelings 'Januberry' promotion, which offers a free chopping board with every two punnets of Keelings berries purchased in participating stores.

© 2013 - Checkout Magazine by Genna Patterson

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