Business Irish

Tuesday 23 January 2018

Denis O'Brien rules out any immediate flotation of Digicel

Denis O'Brien
Denis O'Brien
Thomas Molloy

Thomas Molloy

TELECOMS mogul Denis O’Brien has ruled out selling shares in Digicel Group to the public “at the moment.”

“We like to run our company on a private basis,” Mr O’Brien told Bloomberg Television. “But we have the best practices of a public company,” as Digicel sells bonds in the US and Europe.

Mr O’Brien said the decision by Vodafone Group to sell its 45 pc stake in Verizon Wireless to Verizon Communications for $130bn was “good news for everybody.”

“It has hit a benchmark and you can see recovery now in the value of mobile phone companies,” said Mr O’Brien. “All the ships rising, as such.”

Digicel is the largest carrier in Haiti, one of its 31 markets in the Caribbean, Central and South America and the South Pacific.

In June, the company lost out on a license to expand telecommunications in Myanmar, one of the world’s last remaining untapped markets, even after partnering with billionaire George Soros.

“Obviously, we were crying our eyes out,” said Mr O’Brien. Mr O’Brien is the largest shareholder in Independent News & Media.

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