Monday 23 October 2017

State may sell off part of RTE

Nick Webb

Nick Webb

While Miriam may have flattened the candidates in the presidential debate last week, the ownership of RTE's masts is once again up in the air.

Communications Minister Pat Rabbitte may sell off RTE's transmission network as part of the €2bn-plus plan to offload state assets.

The Government is locked in negotiations with the bailout troika over plans to sell the family silver to pay down Ireland's debt burden. Last week it emerged that the State would have to raise more than the €2bn it had forecast from the sale of assets. The troika has been pushing for asset disposals worth up to €5bn, with the Government willing to sell considerably less.

RTE's transmission network -- all the TV masts -- is thought to have been valued at €70m some time ago.

While the Government is seeking to sell a minority stake in ESB and possibly Bord Gais, it may offload the entire shareholding in the RTE transmission business.

"RTE has had no formal discussions with the Department of Finance regarding the sale of RTENL," said a spokesman.

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