Friday 24 November 2017

Eir will refinance €350m bond next year and sell properties

EIR chief executive Richard Moat
EIR chief executive Richard Moat
Sarah McCabe

Sarah McCabe

EIR chief executive Richard Moat will refinance a €350m bond next year for significantly lower than the debt is currently costing the company, and begin a sell-off of some of the company's 1,000 properties as he returns the newly renamed company to a financial stable position.

Eir's debt is trading at par, Moat told the company, compared to the 77c on the euro its debt traded for when he joined the business in 2012.

The number of creditors to whom the business, which was rebranded to Eir from Eircom last week, owes debt has significantly reduced. When it left examinership , its debtors totalled around 200 different lenders. There has been significant consolidation since then with commercial banks selling their loans.

"Today our debt trades at par and our bonds trade at a premium. The market is clear that it is going to be repaid. We are in a totally different financial position compared to the company that left examinership" said Moat.

Excluding its €350m bond, most of the rest of the company's €2bn debt is not due to be repaid until 2022.

"We have a lot of options. Part will be repaid out of excess cash flow. But we don't have much to do until 2020."

Eir is also examining selling non-core assets including some of its 1,000 properties. It sold its first, a site on Dublin's Adelaide Road, last January.

"We have valuable properties all over the country in regional cities, not just Dublin.

"We are guiding investors towards low single digit earnings growth for 2015."

The company recently revealed its first quarterly revenue growth in seven years.

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