Sunday 23 October 2016

Ex-Eircom boss shared bulk of €10m last year after IPO was ditched

Published 02/09/2015 | 02:30

Eircom Group Headquarters
Eircom Group Headquarters
eircom logo

Former Eircom boss Herb Hribar is believed to have received the bulk of a €9.8m payment made by the telco last year as compensation for loss of office.

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Mr Hribar quit the company in September last year after Eircom pulled a planned €3bn-plus stock market flotation.

That flotation could have seen him and other senior executives including then chief financial officer Richard Moat reportedly split as much as €60m in bonuses. Mr Moat was appointed chief executive after Mr Hribar's departure.

Details of the compensation paid were revealed in Eircom's annual bondholder report published yesterday.

It also showed that Eircom paid €14m during its last financial year in fees connected with its strategic review, which included plotting the possible stock market flotation.

A spokesman said the company could not elaborate on the payouts made to Mr Hribar and other executives due to confidentiality agreements.

The total loss of compensation figure included an €8m payment made for acquiring vested shares in a vehicle used for a management incentive plan which holds shares in Eircom's main holding company.

A handful of key executives left Eircom in the past year or so.

Eircom - which this month will reveal details of a major multi-million euro rebranding - posted its first increase in quarterly revenue in seven years during the three months to the end of June.

Revenue for the period was 5pc higher at €325m, while earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) jumped 12pc to €135m. For the full year to the end of June, revenue was flat at €1.26bn, while EBITDA was 3pc higher at €481m.

The company is benefiting from a general uplift in the economic environment and a capital investment programme that has seen it spend €1bn over the past three years as it upgrades its network.

The company added 64,000 broadband connections last year, boosting its total broadband connections by 9pc to 782,000.

It reported strong take-up in its high speed fibre uptake, adding 148,000 customers to bring the total to 281,000.

Eircom also operates the Meteor and E-mobile brands. Together, they had 1.08m customers at the end of June, an increase of 28,000. The mobile division posted EBITDA of €58m in the last financial year, up 62pc.

The rebranding exercise is likely to see the Eircom name disappear, although Mr Moat told the Irish Independent that he could neither "confirm nor deny" such a move.

"The intention is that we will rebrand all of the services which we currently sell under the Eircom brand," said Mr Moat.

The Meteor brand will be retained, however.

"We want to bring the brand up to date. We want to make it more contemporary," said Mr Moat. "We're a big part of the making of the digitally-enabled economy, and we want a brand which is going to reflect our ambitions in that respect."

Telecom Eireann was renamed Eircom in 1999 after the then government floated it on the stock market.

Irish Independent

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