Sunday 26 January 2020

Colm Piercy's Digiweb is now worth €120m-plus after Viatel merger deal

Nick Webb

Colm Piercy's Digiweb could be worth close to €120m following its merger with Viatel last week.

Digiweb will have revenues of over €60m this year following the deal, with financiers now estimating the broadband and telecoms firm to be worth nearly €120m.

Entrepreneur of the Year Piercy will remain as the majority shareholder of digiweb following the deal which has seen Morgan Stanley emerge as the second largest shareholder in the firm. The Wall Street giant is understood to have invested well over €10m in the enlarged group over the last week. Richard Black & Co and Matheson advised on the deal.

Late last year, Digiweb raised €14.5m from a range of investors including Quay Ventures, Ulster Bank and Piercy himself.

Serial entrepreneur Piercy is likely to use the company's new firepower to buy other telecoms firms across Europe as consolidation grips the sector. Crucially, Digiweb is debt-free and is now well positioned to expand fast.

The company is said to be looking at a number of the other potential acquisitions across Europe, with any purchases funded by existing resources. Digiweb is forecast to generate operating profits of around €8m this year.

The move to merge with Viatel and VTLWaveNet will give Digiweb access to a massive fibre network, that cost Viatel $1.5bn (€1.2bn) to develop. It links 34 cities across Europe. Digiweb will now be able to use Viatel's infrastructure to sell its services across Europe as it now has interests in eight countries.

Last week, Piercy said the deal provided a "strong opportunity" for cross border consolidation in the telecoms sector in Europe.

"This transaction is the first step in positioning our group to take advantage of those trends," he said.

Set up in 1997, Digiweb has grown from being a webhosting firm into a more rounded telecoms and managed networks business.

Irish Independent

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