eircom cleared for Meteor purchase

21 Nov 2005

Irish fixed line operator eircom has been given clearance by the country’s Competition Authority to complete its acquisition of Meteor Mobile. eircom agreed to pay Meteor’s US parent Western Wireless EUR420 million (USD505 million) for the cellco in July. The deal represents a major gamble for eircom as it prepares to re-enter the wireless market just five years after quitting via the sale of its own mobile subsidiary eircell to Vodafone in 2001. eircom plans to fund the purchase with a heavily discounted two-for-one rights issue, despite the fact that its borrowings are already among the highest of Europe’s incumbents.

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