Asian billionaire Li Ka-shing is reportedly casting his eye over Ireland’s former fixed line monopoly eircom with a view to bidding for the EUR6 billion (USD7.6 billion) valued company. Local newspaper The Independent cites ‘well-placed banking sources’ as saying Li Ka-shing’s Hutchison Whampoa group, which owns mobile operator H3G Ireland, could face stiff competition to buy the former state-backed operator. Hong Kong-based Hutchison has declined to comment on the news that its finance director and top dealmaker, Frank Sixt, recently visited Dublin to meet key eircom personnel. The Australian investment group Babcock & Brown may consider bids for eircom as it is embroiled in financial difficulties over its debt mountain.
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