Fertility firm welcomes private equity giant

Irish fertility services firm ReproMed is welcoming a new partner after private equity giant CVC Capital Partners acquired a co-controlling stake in its parent company, FutureLife.

VC announced the acquisition of the stake last month, meaning it will co-control FutureLife, a pan-European IVF provider, alongside the company’s current investor Hartenberg Holding. Beneficial owners of Hartenberg Holding are private trusts established by former Czech Republic prime minister Andrej Babis as their sole beneficiary and business partner Jozef Janov

ReproMed welcomed the investment from CVC in the FutureLife Group.

“We look forward to working with our new partners and growing ReproMed to its full potential by delivering a full spectrum of reproductive healthcare services in Ireland,” a spokeswoman said.

The company added the partnership would allow further investment in the technologies and infrastructure needed to cater for its patients.

ReproMed said it grew its workforce by 40pc last year and began a €1.2m upgrade of its facilities to include the building of a new lab. The project is due for completion in the first quarter of this year. The management team and operations in Ireland, led by CEO Caitriona McPartlin, remains unchanged.

In 2016, a fund backed by Babis bought a 51pc stake in ReproMed, which embryologist Declan Keane founded in 2009. It has two IVF clinics, three satellite fertility clinics and five pregnancy scanning centres in Ireland. 

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Elaine Devereux, managing director of Lucky Beard

Ethical digital design trend to take hold

Digital companies need to be more conscious of ethical design, according to Elaine Devereux, MD of global advisory firm Lucky Beard. Its research suggests a major trend in 2022 will be “ethical UX [user experience]”.
For too long the industry had used persuasive design and dark UX, for example, where mobile games put the ‘buy’ button in the same place as you’d expect to click ‘next’. This was “a form of unfair influence because the user might not be consciously aware of how they’re being subtly nudged in a certain direction. ​​​​It’s always done in the businesses’ best interest; now it needs to be in the consumer’s best interests,” she said.

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Master distiller Noel Sweeney

Raising a glass to Noel

Powerscourt Distillery, the whiskey distillery located on the grounds of the famous Powerscourt Estate in Co Wicklow, is to raise a leaving toast to its founding master distiller and blender – Noel Sweeney.

The company, which recently appointed veteran business executive Maurice Pratt as a director, confirmed that Sweeney was leaving the distillery as master distiller. It wished him well in his future endeavours and said he continues to be a director.

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