IN THE PAPERS
In The Papers 15 March
Altobridge to get USD12m investment | Facebook to enter daily deals market
The Irish Times reports that a public awareness campaign for Saorview, the digital terrestrial TV service, will begin on St Patrick's Day. A series of television, radio and online ads will be aimed at the 600,000 households that will have to switch over to the service by the end of 2012. Saorview is aimed at households that still use an aerial to access TV signals. They are mostly in Connacht/Ulster (32 percent) and Munster (20 percent). They include almost half of all farming households and 28 percent of people over the age of 55.
The Irish Independent reports that international investors spent EUR700 million buying Irish high-tech, pharmaceutical and medical devices businesses in 2010, according to Raglan Capital's Cathal Friel. "Irish companies whose customer base is overseas and production is based in Ireland are attracting the most interest," said Friel. Dublin-based Raglan Capital advises business owners on the sale or acquisition of companies.
The Irish Examiner says that Tralee-based mobile tech group Altobridge is to receive a USD12 million investment in its business. The two investors are Intel Capital and IFC, the venture capital arm of the World Bank. The capital injection should help boost jobs down the line, the firm said, although it gave no details on how many jobs might be created. Altobridge chief executive Mike Fitzgerald said the funding will help increase the rollout of the group's low-operating-cost remote communications technology.
The Financial Times reports that Facebook is entering the fast-growing 'daily deals' market, posing a challenge to online discount firms Groupon and LivingSocial. Facebook will offer multiple deals every day, generated by its own sales force and also aggregated from partners. Facebook says it will seek to specialise in offering deals that can be shared among friends. The social network's large audience and detailed database of user preferences will help it to be a fierce competitor in the deals market, and Facebook's move could potentially compromise Groupon's impending IPO.
The paper also says that Hewlett-Packard is planning to extend its cloud computing services to smaller businesses and consumers, the group's new chief executive said. In his first meeting with investors since taking charge more than four months ago, Leo Apotheker also revealed that HP was increasing its dividend by 50 percent -- the first rise in 13 years. He said the new strategy could boost earnings per share from a previously projected USD5.28 this year to USD7.00 in 2014. Stock in HP rose as much as 1 percent in after-hours trading after the meeting.
According to the Wall Street Journal, AOL is hiring Twitter co-founder Biz Stone as a 'social impact' strategic adviser, as part of its broader integration with online news site Huffington Post. Stone will work on cause-based initiatives, such as creating a system to help people volunteer in their communities, and a video series featuring companies committed to philanthropy. His advisory role with AOL will be on his own, and does not involve Twitter, where Stone will continue to work.
The paper also says that Asia's major telecom operators are scrambling to curtail the impact on their operations from damage to several submarine cables following the massive earthquake and tsunami in Japan. Many operators were reporting some disruptions in internet access, though the partial restoration of service was accomplished by rerouting traffic over undamaged cables and via satellites. About half of the existing cables running across the Pacific are damaged and "a lot of people are feeling a little bit of slowing down of internet traffic going to the United States," said Bill Barney, chief executive of Hong Kong-based cable-network operator Pacnet.
Free! "In the papers" email newsletter -- get the full text to your in-box every business day. Email email@example.com with 'subscribe' in the subject line.