The Irish Independent writes that the senior lenders that look set to take control of Ireland’s ailing former monopoly Eircom have agreed a EUR1.4 billion (USD1.8 billion) five-year investment plan for the telco, and have committed to holding on to the operator for at least two years. The paper claims that details of the lenders’ plans emerged at the end of last week after Michael McAteer, the court-appointed examiner looking into Eircom’s rehabilitation, confirmed he had inked an ‘implementation agreement’ with the group – effectively ending Hutchison Whampoa-owned 3 Ireland’s bid for control of the carrier. It is understood that a complex schedule of arrangements is attached to the senior lenders’ deal, which will see EUR1.8 billion of debt removed from Eircom (and its group companies). Although the plan is likely to face opposition from second tier lenders – who stand to receive nothing under the plan agreed by the examiner – the deal is expected to be agreed, given that groups representing the major lenders have already indicated their support for the plan.
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