Former Davy chief executive McKiernan hits back at criticism of firm

Seen & Heard: RTÉ workers seek compensation; Beauparc’s waste margins

The former chief executive of Davy has described the outcry over the Central Bank's record fine for the firm's role in the Anglo Irish Bank bond deal as a "gross misunderstanding" of what happened.

In an interview with the Business Post, Brian McKiernan said he and other large shareholders known as the "Davy 16" were benefiting from the recent sale of the value built up in the firm over years, rather than as a result of the disposal last week. Mr McKiernan is set to earn more than €70 million from the recent sale while former Davy executives Kyran McLaughlin, Tony Garry, Barry Nangle and David Smith are set to share a payout of about €110 million between them. Mr McKiernan also noted that there had been no findings against any of the shareholders.

Waste profit margins

The Sunday Times also reports that Beauparc, which is being sold in a €1.3 billion deal, operates on profit margins of 35 per cent. The company has a 21 per cent market share of waste collections, serving 265,000 households. Entrepreneur Eamon Waters and private equity group Blackstone are selling Beauparc to Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets (Mira), a unit of an Australian investment bank.


LDA budget increase

The Business Post also reported that the Land Development Agency’s budget is to be doubled to €2.5 billion. It is also to be given extra powers to acquire state-owned land under the Government’s new 10-year Housing for All strategy, which is to be published later next month. A potential tax on vacant homes and additional funding for councils to refurbish disused properties, are also under consideration, according to the newspaper.

Property fire sale

The real estate sector is susceptible to a "fire sale" of property due to international funds that control billions of euro worth of homes and offices carrying significant levels of debt that may not be paid on time, the same paper says. This is the conclusion of Central Bank of Ireland research that warns funds with more than €13.6 billion in assets face narrow timeframes to star repaying borrowed cash.

Perrigo’s legal setback

A US judge has rejected pharma giant’s Perrigo’s attempt to dismiss a shareholder class action that claims it didn’t disclose a €1.6 billion tax liability from Revenue in a timely manner, writes the Sunday Independent. Instead, the judge granted a summary judgment to the shareholders on the issues of falsity and materiality, it adds.

Solar funding

Highfield Solar has secured a €160 million debt facility for the first two major Irish solar power projects, The Sunday Independent reported. The firm has a 140-hectare site at Rosspile, near Foulksmills, Co Wexford, and a 123-hectare site at Gillinstown near Duleek, Co Meath. It is a joint venture between Irish company Highfield Energy and German and British firms, Ib Vogt and Aura Power.

RTÉ workers seek compensation

RTÉ workers who were wrongly employed on short-term contracts instead of as staff are seeking substantial compensation from the station, according to the Sunday Times. It says the total cost of claims could exceed €1.2 million it has cost the broadcaster already to settle tax obligations with workers. Contractors who have now been put on staff following a review by RTÉ are seeking compensation and retrospective payments for holidays, maternity leave, paternity leave, pensions and sick leave.

Restrictions on UK accountants

British accountants have been banned from auditing in Ireland after The Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales ceased to be a recognised professional body in Ireland last week. The Sunday Times said the moves comes amid a growing regulatory gap accentuated by Brexit which has seen the number of British firms seeking audit work falling from 2,700 to just eight.