06 October, 2023 in Industry News

NI Business News Round Up - week ending 6th October 2023

Our team has summarised the key developments for NI businesses in the news this week.


Co Tyrone door designer and manufacturer O&S Doors has been acquired by a new private equity backer - The company, set up by entrepreneur Peter O'Donnell and which is based in Benburb, has been taken over by Rubicon Partners, an affiliate of Sun European Partners, which originally acquired the business in mid-2016. The existing management team at O&S, led by John Toomey, will continue to lead the business and will work alongside Rubicon to further develop the company.  Rubicon Partners was advised in this latest acquisition by PwC (financial and tax), CIL (commercial), AON (insurance), Proskauer Rose (legal), Philip Lee (Irish legals), Waterman Group (ESG) and Xaeus Blue (technology). Debt facilities were provided by PNC Business Credit. (Source : Irish News)

Tyrone-based Euro Auctions has acquired Canadian company Michener Allen Auctioneering in a deal that will strengthen its existing North American operations - The value of the deal was not disclosed.  Dromore-headquartered Euro Auctions, which acts as an auction service provider for industrial, construction and agricultural equipment, operates in the US under the Yoder & Frey brand. Founded in 1998, it has more than 200 employees in 14 countries. The addition of the Michener Allen Auctioneering brand will give it a foothold in the Canadian market. (Source - The Irish Times)


Business News

New plans to revive Caledon Arms Hotel as restaurant and brewery - A two hundred year-old former hotel in Caledon could be brought back to life as a new restaurant and brewery in the Co Tyrone village.  Derry construction group Errigal is leading the major refurbishment project of the listed Caledon Arms building. The proposal, lodged in recent days, would see glamping pods installed to the rear of the hotel site, with a new children’s play park also developed.  Errigal’s plans involves a new rear entrance for the Main Street building, while residential accommodation for staff is also proposed as part of the development. (Source: Tyrone Courier) 

Ready Egg acquisition of Skea produced £175m business, new accounts show - Last year’s acquisition of Co Tyrone’s Skea Egg Farms helped turn Charles Crawford’s Lisnaskea-based egg operation into a £175 million business, new accounts show. The Fermanagh food entrepreneur behind Ready Egg Group, bought the Donaghmore-based Skea Eggs in March 2022. Founded in the 1970s by Matthew Hayes, Skea supplies around 9.5 million eggs per week to major supermarket chains including M&S and Sainsbury's. New accounts for Mr Crawford’s parent group Lough Erne Investments valued the deal at £33.46m. The report, published by Companies House, confirm the acquisition was settled in a cash deal done on March 31 2022. The net assets of the acquisition was valued at £11m, with ‘goodwill arising on acquisition’ accounting for £22.4m. (Source: Irish News) 

Duddy group plan Portrush investment as legal battle commences in Dublin - The brothers behind the Derry-based Duddy group have announced plans to invest in the Portrush Atlantic Hotel after taking full control of the north coast venue. Larry and Brendan Duddy Junior were among the investors to buy the former Ramada Hotel for £2.75 million in 2015.  Previously owned by the Kennedy family, the hotel was put into administration by Nama in 2013.  It later fell under the control of Cerberus, after it acquired Nama’s northern loans. The brothers have now bought out their business partners to assume full ownership. The Duddy’s also own 100 per cent of the Holiday Inn Express in Derry city and are major shareholders in Derry’s City Hotel. It comes as the Duddy group prepare for a high court legal battle in the Republic with Alan Sugar’s former aide over the ownership of the Ibis Red Cow Hotel in Dublin. (Source:Irish News)

Invest NI has promised an overhaul of it leadership and culture in an action plan addressing criticisms of its work - In January, an independent review led by Sir Michael Lyons called for drastic reform of the economic development body, saying there was “considerable room for improvement”. The Department for the Economy has now published what they call a “comprehensive” plan for change. And it said budget constraints meant there would be difficult decisions ahead.  It calls on Invest NI to shift its emphasis away from job creation to implementing DfE’s 10x strategy for a more innovative economy. (Source: Belfast Telegraph) 

Belfast T IT group Kainos has landed one of its biggest ever government contracts just days after appointing its first new chief executive in 22 years - The UK Home Office has awarded the software firm a deal potentially worth up to £75 million over the next five years. Kainos has been selected as a delivery partner for the ‘Civil Registration Digital Product Family’ programme. (Source: Irish News) 

 A £30 million contract to build the Queen’s University-led Advanced Manufacturing Innovation Centre in Co Antrim has been awarded to Co Derry construction firm Henry Brothers. (Source: Irish News)


The Economy

A slowdown in the private sector saw output in the north’s economy contract by 0.5 per cent between the first and second quarters of 2023, official data suggests. (Source: Irish News)

Food prices have fallen on the previous month for the first time in more than two years, bringing grocery inflation down to single digits, according to latest figures - Food inflation decelerated to 9.9 per cent in September, a significant drop from 11.5 per cent in August, according to the British Retail Consortium (BRC)-NielsenIQ Shop Price Index, its lowest point since August last year. (Source: Mirror) 


Whilst every effort has been made by CavanaghKelly to ensure the accuracy of the information here, it cannot be guaranteed and neither CavanaghKelly nor any related entity shall have liability to any person who relies on the information herein. Information given here is for guidance only. Detailed professional advice should be taken before acting on any information contained herein. If having read the guidance here, you would like to discuss further; a member of our team would be pleased to help you.