Over the last couple of years we have followed the fortunes of Aer Lingus. It is an interesting story as a former state company,that was privitised,is partially owned by the workers (14%) (E.S.O.T),the state (30%) and Ryanair(25%). Indeed Ryanair has made three unsuccessful attempts to take it over.
Recently International Consolidated Airlines Group (IAG) has made two attempts at purchasing Air Lingus. Last Friday it offered €2.40 a share,€1.28 bn in total but it was rejected by Air Lingus’ board of directors. It previously offered €2.30 in mid December. Air Lingus is seen as a well run company with reserves in the bank, passenger numbers up and is the holder of prized slots into Heathrow. Hopefully if the state sells its 25.1% stake it ensures that those slots remain between Dublin,Shannon and Cork into Heathrow.
IAG owns British Airways and Iberia Airlines.
Last weeks Ryanair E.G.M. attended by just three external shareholders agreed in rapid fashion to sanction the purchase of up to 200 new Boeing 737 aircraft with a list price of €17.6 bn. The meeting took place at its headquarters in Swords, Co. Dublin.
99.93% of votes cast prior to the meeting were in favour of the purchase.
The E.G.M. lasted all of 35 seconds!
Allergan Pharmaceuticals whose main Irish production unit is based in Westport has accepted a $66 bn takeover bid from Actavis plc ending a seven month hostile pursuit by Valeant Pharmaceutical International inc.
Actavis offered $219 per share in cash and stock.
Though happier to remain independent,Allergan preferred to deal with Actavis as Valeant has a history of cutting R&D at companies it has acquired in the past.
China has become Ireland’s second largest market for dairy products(with infant formula driving that growth),our third largest for pork and our sixth largest overall.
Trade Missions there over the past couple of years including one earlier this month have contributed to this. (see article Jan. 8th 2014).
Bord Bia’s marketing team is doing 300 hours of consumer research in China this year-living,eating and shopping with local families,to see what products they use,how they use them,and why. This would be classed as ethnographic research which combined with Desk and Field research can help An Bord Bia find the information needed to cater for the needs of a culturally different market.
Ireland’s G.D.P.(Gross Domestic Product) to the year end June 2014 grew by over 7%. This is despite the fact that many of the economies we sell into have had a flat performance over that period.
Ireland’s exports is the main creator of this economic growth.
Who are Ireland’s biggest exporters?
Numerically at least, Google with turnover of €17bn, Microsoft at €15 bn and Johnson & Johnson at €10.5 bn fill the top three places.
The E.U.countries and the U.S. remain our main customers but China,Vietnam and Malaysia are expected to be our fastest growing markets over the next 15 years.
The National Asset Management Agency, the state agency set up to deal with bank loans that are in difficulty expects it could make a profit of €500m by the end of 2017 on its property sales.
The agency paid €32 bn for loans with a face value of €74 bn.
The sale of property is ongoing with over 88% being snapped up by U.S. investors.
Calculate the rate of return.
Over the last 15 years eBay has provided a platform for online sellers looking for an easy market entry and a bridge for overseas customers. Not having to have a business premises the business avoids many of the expenses incurred by traditional business. However selling on eBay can be expensive. On average, eBay takes a 10% cut of each purchase with Pay Pay taking a further 3% on each transaction. Pay Pal also tend to hold a percentage (10%-20%) in reserve until the seller graduates from “new seller” status so its important for business to confirm their identity and complete sales successfully,thus building up a good selling history.
In an article dated 28/4/2010 we discussed Toyota and its social responsibility to its customers. At that time there was much discussion about problems caused by its accelerator,what the company knew and didn’t know,who may have been at fault etc. Four years later and the situation is again to the fore.
Hundreds of lawsuits have resulted in Toyota today announcing a $1bn settlement as compensation to those who felt that the value of their Toyota had plummeted as a result of that adverse publicity. The plaintiffs claimed that the cars had the potential to accelerate on their own causing crashes,injuries and even deaths.
The cases have been categorized into those who suffered economic loss and those who suffered wrongful death. Todays settlement relates to the economic loss cases only.
The first case involving wrongful death is due to take place shortly.
The Irish economy is heavily reliant on exports as a key for creating economic growth. Consumption,Investment and Government spending remains flat therefore the reliance on exports.
While the mutinational companies located here tend to export their output indigenious companies are seeking new opportunities abroad. The relentless growth in the global demand for food for example provides an opportunity for Irish business.
Increasingly the Government are looking beyond the EU and to that end have organised trade missions to parts of the world we have not traded with in the past. This has seen visits to the BRIC countries -Brazil,Russia,India and China. Such visits are bearing fruit. Exports to China for example have increased by 40% in the past year with potential for further growth. Indeed China has become our sixth leading destination for our exports.There are extra challenges involved in terms of distance,technical,language and culture.
At present the Taoiseach,the Minister for Employment and a number of Irish business’s are involved in a trade mission to the Gulf region including Saudi Arabia,United Arab Emirates and Quatar.
Get out of bed and have a quick shower using Dove soap,wash the hair with Tresomme or VO5 shampoo,clean your teeth with Mentadent p or Close Up toothpaste,tidy the bathroom with Jiff fluid and freshen the toilet with Domestos. Dab on some Faberge and head downstairs for some Liptons tea,spread Flora on your toast,put some clothes in the washing machine adding some Persil,Radion or Omo not forgetting the Comfort fabric conditioner.
Time to load the dishwasher adding Sun crystals. Now check the fridge for dinner and ensure there are Menu Master convenience meals and Birds Eye frozen vegetables. Make sure you have enough Vesta curries,McDonnells noodles,Oxo gravy,Ragu sauces,Hellmans mayonnaise,Colmans mustard,Knorr soup and HB ice-cream.
Its been a busy morning so far but at least you have made Unilever Ireland very happy by purchasing just some of the hundreds of brands they have on the market.