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Cable veteran Willner is appointed to Digicel board

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Digicel, which is owned by businessman Denis O’Brien, said yesterday that it plans to raise $925m by selling bonds in a private placement (REUTERS/Andres Martinez Casares)

Digicel, which is owned by businessman Denis O’Brien, said yesterday that it plans to raise $925m by selling bonds in a private placement (REUTERS/Andres Martinez Casares)

REUTERS

Digicel, which is owned by businessman Denis O’Brien, said yesterday that it plans to raise $925m by selling bonds in a private placement (REUTERS/Andres Martinez Casares)

Digicel has appointed cable industry veteran Michael Willner to its group board of directors in the latest sign of the mobile telecom operator's shift into the broader media market.

Michael Willner, who will take up his new role in November, is the founder and former chief executive of Insight Communications, a US-based cable television operator, which he sold to Time Warner in 2012.

He served twice as chairman of US industry body the National Cable & Telecommunications Association (NCTA).

The appointment comes as Digicel gets ready to fire the starting gun on an initial public offering (IPO) that could seek to raise between $1.5bn (€1.32bn) and $2bn on the New York Stock Exchange, possibly as soon as this month.

The company could have an enterprise value of $8.4bn to $9.6bn, according to David Holohan, head of research with Merrion Capital in Dublin.

Digicel has not commented on the timing of any deal but was reported to be waiting for Thursday's rate decision by the US Federal Reserve before pushing ahead with the process.

The decision to hold interest rates unchanged is seen by analysts as supportive of emerging markets, including in the Caribbean and South Pacific where Digicel operates.

Businessman Denis O'Brien founded Digicel in 2001 in Jamaica. It now operates in 31 markets.

Irish Independent