Shareholders in Ireland’s dominant fixed line operator eircom have approved plans to issue new shares to fund the telco’s purchase of wireless operator Meteor Mobile. eircom hopes to raise EUR423 million by issuing 313 million new shares, equivalent to 29% of its enlarged capital, in a ‘five-for-twelve’ issue later this month or early next month; shares will be priced at EUR1.35 each. The deal represents a major gamble for eircom, whose borrowings are already among the highest of Europe’s incumbents. The purchase of Meteor will see eircom re-enter the wireless market just five years after quitting via the sale of its own mobile subsidiary eircell to Vodafone in 2001.
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