Monday 23 April 2018

Eircom exits examinership with 40pc less debt and new owners reporters

TELECOMS firm Eircom has exited examinership with 40pc less debt and is now owned by its lenders.

Three group companies placed under examinership in March – Eircom, Meteor Mobile and Irish Telecommunications Investment – have exited with €1.7bn less debt on the group balance sheet.

Singapore Technologies Telemedia and the Employee Share Ownership Trust are not shareholders in the new structure.

A new board is being constituted.

Ned Sullivan will continue as independent non-executive chairman, Nicky Hartery as independent non-executive director and chief executive Paul Donovan as executive director.

More board members will be announced in due course, the company said yesterday.

“A new chapter for the group beings today,” said Mr Sullivan.

“Having successfully navigated examinership and the consequent restructuring of the balance sheet, the group can look forward to executing the next phases of its strategy.”

The agreement means that about 1,000 jobs will disappear through voluntary redundancies over the coming years while a further 5,000 jobs will be saved.

The exit brings to an end two years of negotiations between Eircom, its lenders and shareholders after management were forced to confront the reality that its debt pile had become unsustainable.

Those talks involved six law firms, five Wall Street investment banks and three of the five biggest global accountancy practices.

The bill for advisers is likely to run to tens of millions of euro, examiner Michael McAteer earlier confirmed.

A business plan included the reduction of Eircom's crippling indebtedness to €2.35bn.

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