Friday 24 November 2017

Eircom goes from financial basketcase to potential investor darling

"We've no plans to go back to the market again at the moment," says Eircom CEO Richard Moat (Stock image)
John Mulligan

John Mulligan

Eircom remains a potential flotation candidate, but no plans are in place for its return to the stockmarket, according to chief executive Richard Moat.

The company pulled a planned €3bn flotation last year, with private equity shareholders who are also lenders preferring to benefit from an improvement in Eircom's trading.

Last May, Eircom also said that it had rejected a €3.3bn approach made for the business earlier this year by an unidentified suitor.

Eircom also confirmed yesterday that US hedge fund Anchorage has raised its stake in the telco again, boosting it to just under 40pc.

Anchorage previously raised its holding in Eircom in May, when it acquired a 25pc stake in the company from private equity giant Blackstone.

Blackstone no longer figures among the top 10 shareholders in the company, which has gone from being a financial basketcase to a turnaround story that investors are keen to dial into.

"We've no plans to go back to the market again at the moment," said Mr Moat.

"Our focus is on improving the performance of the business. We've got one quarter of revenue and earnings growth, which is really positive, but obviously want to have more quarters behind us to show that's sustainable.

"If we ever chose to go back to the markets in the future, the story would be far easier to sell because we'd have more evidence of what we've actually achieved," he said.

Irish Independent

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