Thursday, 17 April 2014

Questions (155, 156)

Seán Ó Fearghaíl

Question:

155. Deputy Seán Ó Fearghaíl asked the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht if Udarás na Gaeltachta publicly advertised Arramara Teoranta for sale by public tender; the criteria that was outlined for the sale of Arramara Teoranta; the number of bids that were received for the sale of Arramara Teoranta; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [18433/14]

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Éamon Ó Cuív

Question:

156. Deputy Éamon Ó Cuív asked the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht if Údarás na Gaeltachta advertised Arramara Teoranta for sale by public tender; if it did not, the procedure followed in disposing of the company; if he is satisfied that Údarás na Gaeltachta followed the correct procedures in this sale; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [18439/14]

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Written answers (Question to Arts)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 155 and 156 together.

I understand that Údarás na Gaeltachta considered that the most appropriate mechanism was to engage consultants to identify potential strategic partners from the seaweed industry for the future development of Arramara Teo. As a result, Údarás na Gaeltachta engaged consultants in July 2010 to assist in identifying a potential strategic partner for Arramara Teo. for the purpose of securing its future development. This identification process and the negotiations with the potential partners identified took place over the period from July 2010 to February 2013.

I understand from Údarás na Gaeltachta that the process took place in two phases and that the criteria used for selecting a strategic partner were as follows:

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Phase 1

No.

Minimum Requirements

1.

Financial stability supported by a strong balance sheet and capability to raise capital.

Capability to raise capital and ambition to develop and grow Arramara Teo. to its full potential.

2.

Ability, knowledge and experience to realise the potential of Arramara Teo. by enhancing existing product lines with new higher value added products, enhanced manufacturing processes, driving growth and profitability and other initiatives to grow the company.

3.

Ability to enhance and develop local expertise and intellectual property in the sector.

4.

Commitment to local employment and maintaining existing relationships with the community (i.e. employees, harvesters, haulage companies, fishing community, etc.)

5.

Compliance and sensitivity to environmental issues and assurance that any development does not impact negatively on the seaweed resource.

Phase 2

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1. Purchase Price for the Company and Enterprise Value

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2. Funding Capability

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3. Residual Shareholding

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4. Research & Development Capability and New Product Development Capability

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5. Stakeholders - Employees

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- Harvesters

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- Customers

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6. Plant – Remedial Works

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7. Plant – Upgrades/Improvements

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8. Sustainable Harvesting Plan

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9. Sales and Marketing Capability

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10. Engineering and Manufacturing Capability

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I have been informed by Údarás na Gaeltachta that six bids were received from nine potential partners and these were shortlisted to three from which one was chosen. I have also being informed that the board of Údarás was kept informed at every stage of the process from the request for approval to appoint consultants on 30 April 2010 to the request for approval for the sale of its shares in Arramara Teo. on 1 March 2013.