Eircom to invest EUR1.3bn; CEO ‘very confident’ over future

19 Sep 2011

Paul Donovan, the CEO of Irish former monopoly operator Eircom, says he is very confident about the group’s immediate future, adding that a ‘new Eircom’ is about to emerge from the financial mire that has dogged it for a number of years. Indeed, Donovan says the firm’s new, more solid financial footing will be buoyed by a plan to invest EUR1.3 billion (USD1.8 billion) in the business over the next three years. The official is quoted by the Herald newspaper as saying that Eircom’s pension fund is now ‘close to break-even’ following an initiative to freeze contributions and impose caps, while its major shareholders are in talks with bondholders about trimming the telco’s debt burden and injecting much needed funds into the company.

As reported by CommsUpdate last week, Eircom has reportedly reached agreement with key lenders concerning a waiver of debt terms which will avert a USD5 billion default. Although the telco declined to comment on the waiver plan when asked, it is understood the waiver requires approval from two-thirds of Eircom’s senior lenders. The former monopoly is labouring under debts totalling more than EUR3.7 billion (USD5.1 billion) and struggling to comply with the terms and conditions of its loans as its austerity plan weighs heavily on its bottom line. It is understood the senior lenders are represented by Alcentra Group Ltd, Avoca Capital Holdings, Deutsche Bank, GSO Capital Partners, Harbourmaster Capital Management Ltd and Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group Inc.

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