Incumbent fixed line telco eircom is the sole remaining bidder for control of Ireland’s smallest cellco Meteor Mobile, after wireline rival Smart Telecom withdrew from the race. Smart and its UK-based business partner Virgin Mobile said they had decided to pull out of the bidding because they felt Meteor’s parent Western Wireless International (WII) valued the company too highly, whilst failing to provide sufficient information to justify the price. Smart’s decision came just one week after a consortium led by Irish businessman Denis O’Brien retracted its bid. The withdrawal of its two main rivals means eircom is now the favourite to take control of Meteor, provided that WWI accepts its offer, thought to be worth around EUR440 million (USD530 million).
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