The tech business week: Medtronic to make Irish move, Bausch & Lomb plant to stay open

23 Jun 2014

Medtronic to move operations to Ireland with Covidien purchase

A digest of the top business technology news stories from the past week, beginning with the news US-headquartered med-tech company Medtronic is to move its executive base to Ireland following its acquisition of Covidien.

Medtronic to move operations to Ireland with Covidien purchase

Med-tech company Medtronic is to move its executive base to Ireland to avail of the country’s 12.5pc corporate tax rate after its US$42.9bn (€31.7bn) acquisition of Covidien.

With US-headquartered Medtronic already operating out of its Galway base and Covidien being based in Dublin, Medtronic’s cash-and-stock deal to purchase one of its biggest competitors comes as US multinational companies operating in Ireland have come under the spotlight: Apple and the Irish Government have found themselves up for investigation by the European Commission regarding taxation.

However, Medtronic has stated that the reason to move its executive operations to Ireland is not for tax reasons, rather it feels it would be complimentary to Covidien’s existing operations here.

Bausch & Lomb plant to stay open after discussions with unions

The decision to close the Bausch & Lomb pharmaceutical plant in Waterford has been reversed after discussions with union representatives and management agreed to a deal saving 200 jobs.

Both SIPTU (Services, Industrial, Professional and Technical Union) and the Technical Engineering and Electrical Union (TEEU) have confirmed that as part of the deal, workers’ wages and conditions will have to be greatly reduced but the Canadian manufacturers, one of the world’s largest in terms of contact lens production, have promised considerable investment in the plant in the coming years.

Digital Hub announces partnership with Cork Health Innovation Hub

Dublin’s Digital Hub has announced a partnership deal with Cork’s Health Innovation Hub (HIH) which will see four Cork health-tech companies working out of the Digital Hub.

As part of the Digital Hub’s Connected Health programme, the four companies planned to take part in the partnership will be supported to identify and establish appropriate ‘test-bed’ hospitals and healthcare settings for the products and services they are developing.

The four companies of the partnership include Sláinte Healthcare, Vidscrip, SilverCloud Health, and KJAYA Medical.

Vodafone planning to buy Cobra Automotive Technologies for €145m

Telecoms giant Vodafone is preparing a bid for Cobra Automotive Technologies, an Italian telematics and electronics company for about €145m.

According to The Wall Street Journal, Vodafone is looking to avail of the Italian manufacturers’ ability to integrate telecommunications and technology within cars, something they are looking to expand in the foreseeable future.

In a statement, Cobra Automotive Technologies’ largest stakeholder, the Intek Group, said it had agreed to a deal to tender its majority stake of 51.4pc at a value of €74.3m.

Vodafone’s aim is now to purchase at least 95pc of Cobra at a voluntary tender price of €1.49 per share and will begin the process within the coming weeks.

Twitter to acquire SnappyTV

Twitter has agreed to snap up SnappyTV, which will allow TV broadcasters and businesses to edit high-quality video clips to post on Twitter in real-time. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Twitter emphasised that while it intends to integrate SnappyTV’s technology directly into the Twitter feed and through the business side of Twitter through its Amplify service, it still intends to allow

SnappyTV to distribute its services to other websites and companies.

The service is being particularly aimed at sporting events, where the latest goal or slam-dunk can be instantaneously put on a team’s official Twitter page to share with fans.

BlackBerry surprises analysts with US$23m profit in Q1

BlackBerry has surprised many financial analysts after the company posted its financial report for the first quarter showing a profit of US$23m.

In comparison, last year’s first-quarter figures showed BlackBerry appeared to be in decline as it posted a loss of US$84m.

John Chen, executive chairman and CEO of BlackBerry said that over the past six months, BlackBerry has focused on improving efficiency in all aspects of its operations to drive cost reductions and margin improvement.

Medical devices image via Shutterstock

Stay informed – get daily updates on the latest happenings in technology directly to your inbox