Business Irish

Wednesday 18 September 2019

Magnet Networks 'open to possible merger interest'

Stephen Brewer, managing director of Magnet Network
Stephen Brewer, managing director of Magnet Network

Donal O'Donovan and Feargal O'Connor

The head of broadband company Magnet Networks' Irish arm has confirmed it held talks about possible tie-ups and remains open to looking at merger options.

No takeover talks are currently happening, managing director of Magnet Networks' Irish business Stephen Brewer said.

However, he said exploratory talks with industry peers Viatel and Digiweb did take place before he took up his role last year.

"In this sector every company talks to every company where there is a potential upside," he said.

"Discussions are always going on at that level but there is nothing specific at the moment.

"I understand before I joined the company discussions have been held between Viatel, Digiweb and ourselves. We are both mid-range players where the potential of an arrangement might be beneficial. That's yet to be proven," he said.

Brewer became managing director last year, having held CEO positions at Vodafone, Cable & Wireless and Digicel.

Since then, Magnet has struck a series of deals with many of the country's wholesale broadband suppliers and launched an app to help small businesses to control every thing from security monitoring to data and energy use.

Magnet Networks has been providing fibre broadband to homes and businesses since 2008.

The company, owned by US- based Columbia Ventures, has invested more than €120m to date in its fibre telecoms network and has also expanded overseas.

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