Opening Bell: Ibec hopes for a high-rise Dublin, craft beer output explodes, Pfizer's $14bn purchase

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Ibec has recommended that Dublin embraces high-rise living, claiming that building higher density and taller developments will help to tackle the housing crisis.

The employers' group is concerned about the proposed reduction in the maximum height allowed for 'low-rise' residential buildings in the inner city and suburbs.

It calls proposals in the draft Development Plan for Dublin "crazy" given the pressure of population growth.

Ibec's Aidan Sweeney says easing height restrictions could also attract investment:

"The new Dublin City Development Plan must recognise that we are in a time of acute housing shortages, we have a growing population.

"But also we are a global competitive city and we need to take advantage of opportunities that, for instance, Brexit and uncertainty in the UK have actually thrown up for other cities around Europe."

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The beer output from Irish microbreweries has soared 550% in the last three years, according to the Irish Brewers’ Association (IBA) annual report.

The report shows a 6% increase in overall beer production for 2015, marking the first time output has risen since 2011.

Beer production rose to 750 million litres in 2015 from 730 million litres a year earlier, spurred on by growth in the craft beer market.

Beer accounts for 21% of Ireland’s total beverage exports, valued at €1.26 billion last year.

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Building materials firm Kingspan is in the market for further acquisitions, the Irish Times reports.

Having just posted a record first-half trading profit increase of 50%, the Cavan group is now looking to add to the four rivals it has bought so far this year.

Chief executive Gene Murtagh confirmed the company's intentions to enter new markets, saying:

“We are actively looking at Brazil, India and Russia."

Shares in Kingspan were up over 7% on Monday, following the release of its first-half results.

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Pfizer has sealed the deal to acquire Medivation for $14 billion (€12.35bn).

The agreement ends months of bidding for the San Francisco pharmaceutical company, and adds the highly-valuable prostate cancer drug Xtandi to Pfizer's portfolio.

It comes four months after the collapse of a planned $160bn merger between Pfizer and Irish-based Botox-maker Allergan.

Pfizer will pay $81.50 a share for Medivation, a 21% premium on Friday's closing stock price. Medivation shares climbed nearly 20% to $80.41 in trading on Monday in New York, with Pfizer falling 5 cents to $34.86.

The drug Xtandi currently generates about $2bn in sales annually, with analysts suggesting it has the potential to double that figure.

Pfizer employs approximately 3,200 people across six sites in Ireland.

Medivation’s drug, Xtandi, already generates about $2 billion in yearly sales and has the potential to more than double, according to analysts.

The deal comes four months after Pfizer and Botox-maker Allergan — which is based in Ireland — scrapped their $160bn merger.