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Thread: AIB closing in on Thomas Crosbie Holdings?: Sunday Times

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    Politics.ie Member gijoe's Avatar
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    Default AIB closing in on Thomas Crosbie Holdings?: Sunday Times

    TCH is the company behind the Examiner and the SBP among other media interests. The Times says that AIB, their bankers, have called in KPMG to review their finances. TCH lost €6.37million on a €71million turnover in their last financial year despite having taken €16million in costs out of the operation. However turnover is also over €40million down on 2007. TCH owe AIB €28million. Is AIB doing the preparatory work to pull the plug on financing TCH leading to the elimination of two further national titles?

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    Politics.ie Member Analyzer's Avatar
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    For a minute there I thought it might be showbiz Crosbie (whom I always suspected of being a crony of the North Dublin strain of FF, a kind of a suave version of Bill Cullen).

    Then I realised that this involved a real business.

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    Politics.ie Member Frank Galton's Avatar
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    The story is confirmed --

    Thomas Crosbie Holdings, the media group which owns the Irish Examiner and Sunday Business Post, is considering restructuring its debt.
    The company owes banks €28m and the group's biggest creditor is AIB.
    The AIB has hired KPMG to review the business while Thomas Crosbie Holdings has engaged Grant Thornton.
    It is understood securing the agreement with AIB, which is State owned, would be critical to any restructuring deal.
    Crosbie Holdings considers restructuring its debt - RT News

    It's going to be very difficult for the state to keep an arm's length approach to media policy in these circumstances.
    The Daily Mail -- the world's biggest cut-and-paste operation.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Analyzer View Post
    For a minute there I thought it might be showbiz Crosbie (whom I always suspected of being a crony of the North Dublin strain of FF, a kind of a suave version of Bill Cullen).

    Then I realised that this involved a real business.

    He's hardly a suave version of anybody.

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    The Company has a large bank of property in the centre of Cork which could be sold off to meet some of its 28 million Euro debts.

    But in the present economic climate, this would be tantamount to a 'fire sale' with only depressed prices being likely for such assets. Still, a sale and lease back might be more preferable than failure to reach financial accommodation with AIB which is itself under pressure to rein in large debts.

    Another 'out' would to sell off those weekly titles it acquired in recent years under the axis of Chairman Alan Crosbie and Company Secretary Anthony Dinan (who is no longer with TCH). Its interests in four or five regional stations around the country could also be disposed of, leaving the Company to concentrate on its core newspapers - The Examiner, Evening Echo (local evening paper in Cork) and the best of its titles, The Sunday Business Post.

    Another possibility would be to sell ALL its newpapers to a foreign or Northern Ireland consortium while retaining its land bank and radio interests.

    At a time of prolonged sales and advertising revenue shrinkage - a situation that it not likely to improve in the next few years - the future looks bleak unless there is a major structural revamp.

    And there is also the very large hole in its Company Pension Fund to fill.

    What do employees of TCH and other posters think ?
    Last edited by Warren Poynt; 14th July 2012 at 04:27 PM.

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    Politics.ie Member asknoquestions's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Warren Poynt View Post
    The Company has a large bank of property in the centre of Cork which could be sold off to meet some of its 28 million Euro debts.
    Do they really have so much property? I thought they were renting premises from Owen O'Callaghan? I think they had some property on the South Mall, do they still have that? I think they still have recruitireland.com as well?

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    Politics.ie Member sandar's Avatar
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    I wokred on a couple of TCH titles for about half a decade, furstrating to say the leats. The first one on which I worked is a good example of their commercial strategy and ultimate failings. They bought it because it was the second largets of the county's three local newsppaers. The idea being that with investment and savings made from economies of scale they could make it the largest. The initial investment paid off....the circulation rose quite dcramtically,. but just as it was on the cusp of becoming a very good title...TCH..having somehat overstretched themselves elsewhere with their constant expansion....needed to take what profit they could from the title on which I worked...so the expansion plan halted...lots of very excellent staff(much better than I was and mroe senior) left as the promised investment dried up...the title went backwards where it remains..and may not survive at alll....

    The second one on which I worked..much better known...the business plan was to use synergies to drive down costs...but just as they were starting to pay fruit...the recession hit an the stitle had to be taken into recievrship where it has been bought by new onwers...

    so in short...over expansion in the good times has left little room for maneuvre in the bad times
    "Sometimes the best thing a government can do is simply get out of the way"-Vince Cable

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    The obvious solution to TCH's financial problems( declining sales revenue and falling advertising income) is to reduce its borrowings by selling some of its assets acquired in recent years under the Alan Crosbie/Anthony Dinan regime.

    Both went on a helter-skelter buying spree, purchasing many weeklies, advertising sheets, and local radio stakes. They even went to Britain and purchased the Irish Post in 2003 for £1.3 million STG. Under the Crosbie/Dinan stewardship, circulation and advertising revenue fell dramatically, and when TCH shut down the paper in 2011, it only had a circulation of 17,100 compared to the 31,500 it had when the Cork company bought it. Staff were given just hours to leave the Hammersmith premises in London and the title was put up for sale for an 'asking price' of just Stg£150,000.

    Since then there have been a number of disposals by TCH. At one stage the Examiner Group used to print The Sunday Times in Ireland but that too appears to have gone by the board.

    Surely there must be some journalists working for TCH who could post here and tell us what the current state of the company is and what morale is like within the organisation ?
    Last edited by Warren Poynt; 16th July 2012 at 05:45 PM. Reason: mis-named paper in Britain

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    Dylan2010
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    Quote Originally Posted by Warren Poynt View Post
    The obvious solution to TCH's financial problems( declining sales revenue and falling advertising income) is to reduce its borrowings by selling some of its assets acquired in recent years under the Alan Crosbie/Anthony Dinan regime.

    Both went on a helter-skelter buying spree, purchasing many weeklies, advertising sheets, and local radio stakes. They even went to Britain and purchased the Irish Voice in 2003 for £1.3 million STG. Under the Crosbie/Dinan stewardship, circulation and advertising revenue fell dramatically, and when TCH shut down the paper it only had a circulation of 17,100 compared to the 31,500 it had when the Cork company bought it. Staff were given just hours to leave the Hammersmith premises in London and the title was put up for sale for an 'asking price' of just Stg£150,000.

    Since then there have been a number of disposals by TCH. At one stage the Examiner Group used to print The Sunday Times in Ireland but that too appears to have gone by the board.

    Surely there must be some journalists working for TCH who could post here and tell us what the current state of the company is and what morale is like within the organisation ?
    The Irish Voice or the Irish Post? I know the Irish Post closed down last year, it used to be owned by Smurfits until they sold it on

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    Politics.ie Member gijoe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dylan2010 View Post
    The Irish Voice or the Irish Post? I know the Irish Post closed down last year, it used to be owned by Smurfits until they sold it on
    Yeah he means the Irish Post. TCH bought it. Its up and running again I believe. The only thing wrong with Warren Poynt's disposal idea is that they will only get a fraction of the money back that they laid out for any of these assets. No doubt AIB will still want them to do this but even after that process they will still have a massive debt for a now shrunk Group and revenue.

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