Cully & Sully sold to US buyer - A Good or a Bad thing?


Spanner Island

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from a business point of view?

We've sold the foreigners another bag of magic beans. Can't they make their own soup in America?
I don't get your point.

Can we not make our own soft drinks and burgers?

And yet Coca Cola, Pepsi, McDonalds and Burger King etc. do quite well here.

These days branding is everything and those who own the brands are the ones who make the killings.

Ireland needs to develop and retain brands instead of flogging them off.
 

darkhorse

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You still have not addressed the costs borne by EI et al championing and coaching these guys.

once again the Irish taxpayer bends over....
Its much more advantageous for the Irish taxpayer that the business is owned by a company with the resources to bring this brand to an international audience. This will result in much greater employment than would be possible if it remained in the hands of the original owners.
 

Tim Johnston

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How much did Enterprise Ireland spend grooming and presenting these guys?

http://www.agservicesgroup.com/RoleModelPDFs/Colum_Case.pdf

How much did that 1 document cost?

Its a bit like how the Central Bank green lighted Anglo

EI green lighted, marketed and spot lighted these guys.

What pay back for the tax payer?
Come back with figures. This guys had access to plenty of money, although given the choice between getting daddy to sign a cheque or the taxpayer.. hmm.

Generally I would agree with you. I find it hard to like these two though. Rich kids from the Ballimaloe stock took advantage of the family connections to create a company. For the most part, none of the manufacturing was Irish-based.

I wish them well, but it's not a genuine boys done good story.
Quite agree. some might say that packaged meals were one of those 'Celtic Tiger' luxuries that are a thing of the past now everyone's remembered we can make our own soup. If it proves anything, it's simply that if you're well connected, it's much easier to do well than if you're not.

It is disappointing news even leaving aside the grants question because I had the impression these guys were craftsmen who enjoyed what they did and weren't in it for the quick buck.
that's called "marketing" ;)

I don't get your point.

Can we not make our own soft drinks and burgers?

And yet Coca Cola, Pepsi, McDonalds and Burger King etc. do quite well here.

These days branding is everything and those who own the brands are the ones who make the killings.

Ireland needs to develop and retain brands instead of flogging them off.
See the response to Rebel_Yell, really. I never thought it was a very good brand, but I accept that that's a personal opinion, and I strongly suspect that it must have suffered a knock like every other business of late, and not least because it was (as I recall) more expensive than it's perfectly adequate competition.
I've also never bought into the whole 'buy Irish - it's crap and more expensive but at least the guy who owns it lives in the same country as you' that Supermac's used to pull. I also always thought it was no coincidence that the company started just after the Ballymaloe brand took a huge hit due to a certain unpleasant scandal.

I'm not begrudging, I'm just surprised that anyone was gullible enough to invest in it. I'd have done the same and sold and, like the two lads, laughed my a*se off all the way to the bank.
 

Spanner Island

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See the response to Rebel_Yell, really. I never thought it was a very good brand, but I accept that that's a personal opinion, and I strongly suspect that it must have suffered a knock like every other business of late, and not least because it was (as I recall) more expensive than it's perfectly adequate competition.

I've also never bought into the whole 'buy Irish - it's crap and more expensive but at least the guy who owns it lives in the same country as you' that Supermac's used to pull.
I've never bought into what you describe either, but if it's as good as the competition and is the same price, then why not buy it because it's Irish? Anyone who buys an inferior product because it's Irish - well let's just say fools and their money are soon parted - and deservedly so.

I think you're missing my point regarding brands though - but if you're happy enough to see any Irish company that produces a world class product hoovered up by multi nationals... you're entitled to that opinion although I don't share it.

Because if that's what continues to happen Ireland will remain over dependent on FDI and be little more than a posh sweat shop for multinationals.

Not that I think that's going to last either. At some point the Polands and Indias of this world will catch up and be able to do what Boston Scientific do here much cheaper there... and yet again we'll hear a lot of whingeing about being at the mercy of multinationals and their whims.
 
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Tim Johnston

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I've never bought into what you describe either, but if it's as good as the competition and is the same price, then why not buy it because it's Irish? Anyone who buys an inferior product because it's Irish - well let's just say fools and their money are soon parted - and deservedly so.

I think you're missing my point regarding brands though - but if you're happy enough to see any Irish company that produces a world class product hoovered up by multi nationals... you're entitled to that opinion although I don't share it.

Because if that's what continues to happen Ireland will remain over dependent on FDI and be little more than a posh sweat shop for multinationals.

Not that I think that's going to last either. At some point the Polands and Indias of this world will catch up and be able to do what Boston Scientific do here much cheaper there... and yet again we'll hear a lot of whingeing about being at the mercy of multinationals and their whims.
No, I do take your point, actually Spanner - and you're right about the value added being important and that it is good for the economy that it remains here. It's an entirely valid observation and I acknowledge that. I also think, hey, we should start up another soup company and sell that one to them too!

The only thing I can think of, and another poster should be credited with the point, that there may have been a fire sale situation regarding Cully&Sully and they were desparate to get out of the business for whatever reason. Multinationals occasionally get it radically wrong (*cough* Ford *cough* Landrover) and they may have done so here, and it's a credit to our diddly-aye marketing abilities that we can get them interested in a supposedly mom'n'pop soup company.

But, sure, we're never going to compete on the world stage if we flog off every successful company we produce, but, not every company we produce is successful. If we, as you say, become merely a factory floor for multinationals, they'll soon figure out that they can get it done cheaper in India.
 

The OD

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WTF is with the criticism and moralising? The boys done good, set up a company and have sold it on. End of story.
Exactly - I fail to see what the issue is here, well done to all involved and yummy soup to boot.....
 

bormotello

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Spanner Island

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Unfortunately this seems to be a long running trend that doesn't look like it's gonna stop any time soon.

I've no problem with people selling off their businesses. It's up to them to do what they like and good luck to them.

I simply think the state should acquire a shareholding in any company it invests in so that when these sell offs occur, at least the state gets a bit of pay back. Such shareholdings could be on the basis of the 'state' being a silent partner with no voting rights.

I also think more should be done to encourage Irish companies to remain in Ireland. I don't buy the claim that they have to be flogged off to foreigners to succeed globally.

But if there is some truth in this, then Irish investors (private and public) need to sort it out and fix it quick.
 

revereie

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One second!Companies availing of grants typically have to pay them back if the company is sold to anyone, whatever nationality, within a certain timeframe - if I recall correctly - 10 years.
 

meriwether

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One second!Companies availing of grants typically have to pay them back if the company is sold to anyone, whatever nationality, within a certain timeframe - if I recall correctly - 10 years.

And the state often takes equity stakes in firms it invests in via EI, etc.

A stake that would be realised upon......sale.

But listen, stop with your facts, we're having a gay old time here ************************eing on about the state and investments, and losing money, and not one of us has a fakking clue how any of this works, but sure aren't we happy in our idiocy?

We're angry about something, and thats a good thing.
 

Davidoff

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Another worthless press release being passed off as news.

The firm employs 5 people. FIVE. The deli counter in my local Centra has more staff than that.

The 'sale' price is undisclosed, presumably because, if any money at all is changing hands, it wouldn't be enough to pay for a secondhand chip van.

Is it any wonder no one buys newspapers any more.

:roll:
 

Spanner Island

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And the state often takes equity stakes in firms it invests in via EI, etc.

A stake that would be realised upon......sale.
Why not always?

But listen, stop with your facts, we're having a gay old time here ************************eing on about the state and investments, and losing money, and not one of us has a fakking clue how any of this works, but sure aren't we happy in our idiocy?

We're angry about something, and thats a good thing.
Absolutely...

Sure isn't that what this place is for?
 

Spanner Island

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Another worthless press release being passed off as news.

The firm employs 5 people. FIVE. The deli counter in my local Centra has more staff than that.

The 'sale' price is undisclosed, presumably because, if any money at all is changing hands, it wouldn't be enough to pay for a secondhand chip van.

Is it any wonder no one buys newspapers any more.

:roll:
You're probably right...

I didn't intend to limit this thread to Cully & Sully though.

For whatever reason they became poster boys for successful indigenous business. Of course the coverage and hype they received could very well have been because of who they knew as opposed how successful they were.

It's what they came to represent (rightly or wrongly) that's the issue.

I was trying to highlight the general trend that sees indigenous companies that become in any way successful hoovered up by multinationals.

That trend isn't going to do this country any favours if it continues.
 

Spanner Island

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Depends on the type of investment.
I think that should be rethought with equity being part of any investment.

Of course not all companies will be successful or survive, but we do have more entrepreneurs than other countries and we seem to have expertise in food, pharma and IT etc., all of which could provide significant returns in the years ahead.
 

floatingvote

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I have no problem with the lads selling up, I do worry about the people on here praising the products in terms of taste - seriously folks their products are really well branded and marketed, but the content doesn't live up to the hype at all. I buy them when they're in the reduced to clear section to feed to my toddlers, I certainly wouldn't waste the calories on that for my dinner though!!
 

Phil Maker

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bad

another sell out

typical Irish stunt, same as Cooley

I will buy their stuff no more
Cully & Sully shifts soup-making to UK - The Irish Times - Fri, Sep 28, 2012

confirmed, a bad move for manufacturing in Ireland

Hope EI et al are looking for their funding back

Colum O’Sullivan, aka Sully, confirmed to me this week that its soups are being manufactured in Britain at a facility owned by US-based Hain Celestial Group, which acquired the Irish food company earlier this year. The soups were being produced here by Glanbia.
 

Equinox

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Cully & Sully shifts soup-making to UK - The Irish Times - Fri, Sep 28, 2012

confirmed, a bad move for manufacturing in Ireland

Hope EI et al are looking for their funding back
Sad but not unexpected news.

This phenomenon was the subject of a recent business conference in Dublin.

There are fairly good supports in Ireland it seems at both extremes of the business world. There are lots of avenues for startups to explore when seeking help getting off the ground just are there are lots of bodies focused on facilitating multinational to operate here, what we lack however are supports designed to facilitate small to medium indigenous enterprises in taking the next step in expanding their businesses.
We really need to develop a strategy around this 'big leap' stage in the same way that we have for startups and multinationals if we are to have any hope of driving business an innovation in this country.
 
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