Tuesday 6 December 2016

Eir planning €150m credit facility as bond lock expires

Published 26/05/2016 | 02:30

Last month, Eir reported that its third-quarter revenue rose 3pc to €321m, and that pre-exceptional EBITDA was 4pc higher at €125m.
Last month, Eir reported that its third-quarter revenue rose 3pc to €321m, and that pre-exceptional EBITDA was 4pc higher at €125m.

Telecoms firm Eir, formerly known as Eircom, plans to secure a new €150m revolving credit facility in a move that could see it use some or all of the proceeds to retire part of an expensive, outstanding bond.

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Eir has been examining funding options for a number of months ahead of the expiration of a so-called non-call period on the €350m high-yield notes that carry a 9.25pc interest rate.

A spokesman for Eir said that the company still has a number of options available to it, which could include securing the revolving credit facility and also issuing a new bond.

The company, which is 40pc-owned by New York private equity firm Anchorage Capital, has to secure approval from its lenders for an amendment to its senior loans facilities agreement before it can put the new revolving credit facility (RCF) in place.

That's likely to be no more than a formality, however. It's likely that following firm discussions with banks, that the RCF could be finalised next month.

Last month, Eir chief financial officer Huib Costermans told the Irish Independent that the company has still not decided whether to extend the €350m in high-yield notes, or to refinance them to cut its interest bill. He said that Eir could cut its interest bill under the bonds by "at least" €10m to €15m.

The spokesman said yesterday that the RCF could be used to reduce the amount of outstanding notes, or for a number of other purposes including on-going capital expenditure.

He said that the RCF would provide "greater flexibility" within the group's capital structure.

"We continue to review a range of options including a possible bond," he said.

Last month, Eir reported that its third-quarter revenue rose 3pc to €321m, and that pre-exceptional EBITDA was 4pc higher at €125m.

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