Shannon in fight with Cork for US jobs investment

Mike Dwane

Reporter:

Mike Dwane

SHANNON is vying with Cork for an investment by an American company that could ultimately see up to 50 jobs created.

SHANNON is vying with Cork for an investment by an American company that could ultimately see up to 50 jobs created.

Able Planet - a world leader in hearing aids, designer headphones and other audio products - has confirmed it plans to set up a sales and marketing operation in Ireland as it seeks to establish a bridgehead into the European market.

It was reported in a Sunday newspaper that Shannon had been chosen as the location but CEO Kevin Semcken told the Limerick Leader that Cork was also in the mix.

While Shannon can offer transatlantic flights for US firms, Cork has the advantage of being home to Apple, with whom Able Planet does business.

“We have an extensive relationship with Apple. We are part of Apple’s Gift with Purchase program,” Mr Semcken said.

“Both areas have potential for us and we are exploring both for our international office. The location has not exactly been finalised due to property needs but we are looking at both.”

The Colorado-based company will initially send over a sales manager before recruiting in Ireland.

“Able Planet will focus its launch primarily on sales and marketing functions with an office manager. We plan to outsource logistics - deals are in negotiation phase,” Mr Semcken said.

The company develops hearing aids and sound amplifiers for people with all levels of hearing ability, including those with profound hearing loss. It has won dozens of industry awards in the United States for its headphones, headsets and other consumer electronics products and also makes audio devices for use in the security industry.