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Finance Magazine - June 2008 Issue

Tax on the agenda
‘We can’t build a fortress around Europe & invent stupid tax proposals’
Charlie McCreevy, European commissioner for the internal market and services, in a wide ranging interview with FINANCE in anticipation of his keynote address at the Finance Dublin/Finance Magazine Global Financial Services Centres Conference 2008 on June 16th-17th, gives his views on the competition between established and emerging financial centres and regulatory issues therein. Against the backdrop of ‘siren calls’ for increased regulation, McCreevy outlines some of the practical steps that are being taken to resolve the credit crisis.
Smurfit Kappa - the largest IPO in Irish business history
The Smurfit Kappa IPO won ‘Equity Linked Deal of the Year’. It was the largest IPO in Ireland in to date and also the 3rd largest IPO in EMEA in 2007 making it an IPO of global significance. It beat off competition from a strong second - SVG Diamond Private Equity III plc, notable as it combined the new Irish qualifying investor fund regime and the Irish section 110 regime by interposing a securitisation vehicle in a fund structure. Further details of the SVG Diamond deal can be read on www.finance-magazine.com - where all the nominations are profiled.
Impressive return on equity for Airtricity shareholders
The Sale of Airtricity to Scottish and Southern Energy is the winner of this year’s overall Corporate Finance Deal of the Year seeing off competition from deals such as the Acquisition of Rexam by Ardagh Glass and HM Rivergroup takeover of Harcourt. The Airtricity deal showed benefits of the deal for both the acquirer and the target with an impressive return on equity in a deal that took place during a difficult market environment. The deal demanded strong project management expertise and legal expertise and commercial acumen across a range of legal issues including corporate, property, banking and employment.
Communicorp’s radio purchase involved five underbidders
Communicorp’s acquisition of five radio stations from EMAP, including Today FM, FM104 and Highland Radio was notable in that it involved the sale of five separate businesses, and in that it saw a hectic and complex bidding process prior to the deal, involving a long list of final underbidders. The deal, valued at €200 million represented an attractive price for the vendor, but the acquirer, Communicorp, has subsequently also been able to demonstrate value, judging by prices achieved in the sale of parts of the package.
Conference Centre Dublin project involves creative funding
The first PPP project for Ireland’s Office of Public Works has a number of innovative features including a mechanism to ensure that the facility delivers on its promise of attracting international visitors to Dublin, and a sharing of third party revenue risk.
Hypo/Depfa M&A deal the largest ever
The acquisition of Depfa Bank plc by Hypo Real Estate Holding AG at a value of €5.7billion, was the largest ever merger in Ireland. The Hypo/Depfa deal is awarded this year’s most innovative deal given the great complexity of the deal. The success of the deal was dependent on integrating the requirements of German law as to shareholder rights and capital increases with the timing requirements of the Irish High Court. For a transaction of its size and complexity, the timetable of the transaction was very short, with substantive work on the acquisition only beginning at the end of June 2007.
New liquidity rules facilitate Ulster mortgage pool deal
An example of the responsiveness of the capital markets to the credit crisis was the use of new liquidity rules introduced by the Financial Regulator permitting residential mortgages to be treated as liquid assets if they are pledged under the Central Bank and Financial Services Authority of Ireland (CBFSAI) Mortgages Backed Promissory Note Scheme. This deal was quite urgent, the Regulator was responsive and the parties to the deal got the job done on time.
OpenHydro’s energy technology draws private client funding
OpenHydro’s €40 million fundraising from a combination of existing shareholders and Davy clients leaves the company funded for the next two to three years in a pre-Revenue deal to develop turbine technology.
European first for Bank of Ireland securitisation executed in challenging credit conditions
An example of the reaction of the Irish capital markets to the credit crisis was the innovative Bank of Ireland Value in Force Securitisation last October which was a regulatory capital transaction conducted within the parameters of boosting regulatory capital, while employing a securitisation to do so, and one in the complex area of life assurance, requiring the tailoring of the deal to regulatory requirements regarding the treatment of embedded life assurance value.
€400 m PPP project in waste management secures Project Finance award
The first PPP project of its type in Ireland for a large waste to energy facility by European standards wins the Project Finance Award. It brought new operators into the Irish market, and, being closed against the background of a series of new corporate arrangements, the transaction was complex and challenging.
The ‘deepening roots’ of IFSC banking
Padraig Rushe reviews the IFSC banking sector highlighting the telling developments of its evolution. Rushe takes a look forward at potential areas of excellence in the banking sector including private banking & covered bonds; and within the overall investment funds arena the presence of a licensed in-house custodian bank greatly enhances the service offering from the funds administration sector.
The new Commission on Taxation, a poisoned chalice for outgoing Chairman?
PJ HENEHAN casts a cold eye over the terms of reference for the new Commission on Taxation, and concludes that Frank Daly, the Commission’s chairman, will need to summon all his skills to navigate a course that avoids endless debates arising from potential inherent conflicts in the terms of reference, and, like the last Commission, result in multiple volumes and thousands of pages produced over multiple years.
Mid market M&A to remain strong
Mid-market M&A activity levels were strong throughout 2007 and this trend is likely to be maintained throughout 2008, says Pat Gaynor managing director of Bank of Ireland Corporate Banking. Gaynor says the Irish M&A market is less exposed to the impact of the credit crunch than the larger international markets.
Corporate liquidity risk management in the tighter credit environment
With difficulty in calling when markets may stabilise, the prudent working assumption is to approach the next few months with caution, says Rob Roughan. Flexibility for corporates is key to liquidity risk management in an environment where there is a tightening up on the absolute availability of credit. Roughan looks at ways that corporates can broaden and diversify their funding alternatives with necessary liquidity the overriding concern.
Credit crunch: the impending litigation wave
History has shown that where large losses are suffered, litigation usually follows, says Kieran Cowhey. A rise in the number of cases currently being processed through the Commercial Court does indicate that the credit crisis’ impact is starting to unfold.
Asset based lending: a funding alternative for Irish corporates
Comprehensive Asset Based lending (CABL) is a form of debt instrument that is well establishment in the US but has been slow to take up in Europe and Ireland. Judith McMath & Donal Duffy outline the benefits of ABL to capital intensive, asset rich businesses as a method of raising additional funding.
‘Workouts’ may offer advantages when writing down bad debts
Out of court ‘workouts’ can be the best means of protecting secured creditors’ positions and avoiding reduced asset value fire sales while facilitating the borrowers’ survival, writes Neil O’Keefe.
Tax and the Irish investment funds industry - a time of challenge and opportunity
As the new Taoiseach opens the door for funds service providers to outsource to Northern Ireland, Seamus Hand and Ted McGrath look at some of the tax related opportunities and challenges facing the investment funds industry in Ireland.
The new VAT package
Niall Campbell comments on forthcoming EU rules for the place of supply of services and new procedures for VAT refunds.
'Is tax on your board’s agenda?' part 2: potential tax risks for finance professionals
In a follow up to his December article 'Is tax on your board’s agenda?' Liam Lynch takes a practical look at the potential tax risks for which Irish tax and finance personnel may be responsible.
Spread betting symposium: a tool for all eventualities
With the impact of the credit crisis on the financial markets, Spread Betting has seen an increase in volumes traded in 2008. Four market experts give their opinions on the emerging trends that are driving the market.
A guide to financial spread betting
Financial spread betting is a way of trading on a financial market or product such as a share or a commodity without having to physically own it. The Guide on this page provides an overview of the main questions investors ask about how they can go about engaging in this form of tax efficient trading and hedging. Spread betting is best seen as a risk management tool; it enables the user to both take on and offload risk, and thereby hedge, or offset, underlying risk that might exist within other long or short positions. Because of the potential leverage possible through spread betting, it can magnify risk positions, and thus care and due consideration must always be foremost in engaging in any trading activity.
Using a physics background in financial services
John Patchell is a quantitative analyst with Nexgen Financial Solutions. Patchell is using his Ph.D in physics (opto-electronics) to write programmes for financial models. Using his mathematical background, Patchell shows the mobility a mathematical background offers - switching disciplines from physics to finance.
The UK 'non doms' move
This Financejobs.ie finance careers symposium, examines the impact that changes to the UK's taxation of non domiciled residents are having on the City, and whether Ireland will gain.
Managing a fast moving accountancy firm
John Glennon’s role as managing partner of Baker Tilly Ryan Glennon sees him take on the task of managing a newly formed and growing firm. April 2007 saw the merger between PKF Ryan Glennon. and Baker Tilly O’Hare. The merger saw the company become the ‘fastest mover’ in the FINANCE Magazine Accountancy Survey 2007 as the firm doubled its fee income to €12 million. The new company now an ‘all island’ practice is expanding further as Glennon oversees a recruitment drive to attract new talent to Baker Tilly Ryan Glennon.
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