Friday 24 November 2017

Eircom won't name who it has appointed to board of directors


Donal O'Donovan

Donal O'Donovan

EIRCOM is refusing to name four new directors it has appointed to the company's board -- three days after a lender imposed a deadline to make the appointments.

A spokesperson for the company told the Irish Independent that Eircom was complying with the lenders' demand and had not breached the terms of its €3.7bn of debt.

However, the company refused to disclose the names of its new board members to the Irish Independent.

Sources among the lender group privately accuse the company of foot dragging by allowing the appointments to go down to the wire, if not beyond.

One source among the lender group, who asked not to be named, said such foot dragging has become a theme in dealing with Eircom in recent months.

Eircom is at the start of a process to restructure its corporate debt.

The directors are being appointed to comply with a demand that lenders made when they granted Eircom a three-month holiday from the terms and conditions attached to its loans earlier this month. That three months was given to allow time for talks on how to deal with the debt pile.


The new board members are to have no ties to either of Eircom's current shareholders -- majority owner STT, or an employee-owned share trust. Prior to the appointments, just one member of the main board was not linked to one of the two shareholders.

Lenders feared that could affect decision making when talks got under way that were likely to decide the future control of the company.

Lenders made the unusual demand of having new directors appointed but have no direct say in who sits on the board.

The lack of communication from the company since the deadline for appointments passed on September 26 has added to the confusion. Some lenders know the identities of the new directors but many of the investment funds owed money by the group have not yet been told who is involved.

In addition to changes to the main board, two additional directors are being appointed at separate holding companies in the Eircom group.

These holding companies are linked to around €1bn of risky bond debt, and these appointments are in addition and not connected to the four directors on the main board.

All four independent directors on the main board and two of the four other directors are understood to be Irish.

Irish Independent

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