Business Irish

Thursday 18 October 2018

Explainer: How top eir execs benefit from majority stake sale - and who is French billionaire Xavier Niel?

Eir
Eir
Louise Kelly

Louise Kelly

Long-running talks over the sale of a "significant stake" in telecoms group eir have come to an end, with a €3.5bn deal being struck.

But what are the details of the deal? How will Eir's top managers and the group's lenders benefit? And who is French telecoms investor Xavier Neil?

The deal:

* A majority stake, two thirds, in eir (64.5pc) is to be bought out by a consortium for an estimated €3.5bn (enterprise value)

* This group consists of NJJ, the investment vehicle of Mr Niel, and French telecommunications company Iliad SA

* NJJ will own 32.9pc of eir, and Iliad SA will own 31.6pc as part of the package

Eir chief executive Richard Moat
Eir chief executive Richard Moat

* Shareholders Anchorage Capital group (26.6pc) and Davidson Kempner (8.9pc) will retain a combined 35.5pc share in the company

The payout:

* Eir's top managers and the group's lenders are expected to benefit by up to €100m

* Top Eir managers likely to be in line for payments under the scheme - and who are expected to receive the lion's share - are British-born CEO Mr Moat; Dutch chief financial officer Huib Costermans, and Dubliner Carolan Lennon.

* The figure will be split between 45 top executives and managers would have a stake in the business worth

* Carl Leaver, chairman of Eircom Holdings described deal as a "milestone for eir, our customers and indeed for Ireland itself"

Xavier Niel:

* Mr Niel is the founder of and owns 52pc of Iliad, where he serves as deputy chairman and chief strategy officer

Xavier Niel, billionaire and co-chief operating officer of Iliad; Anne Hidalgo, the mayor of Paris; and Emmanuel Macron, France’s president, at an event in the French capital this summer. Photo: Bloomberg
Xavier Niel, billionaire and co-chief operating officer of Iliad; Anne Hidalgo, the mayor of Paris; and Emmanuel Macron, France’s president, at an event in the French capital this summer. Photo: Bloomberg

* Iliad operates one of France's largest mobile operators, Free

* Telecoms pioneer is also the co-owner of France's 'Le Monde' newspaper

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