Eircom chief financial officer Richard Moat has told journalists that the timing of a potential initial public offering (IPO) and a return to the stock market is definitely not set in stone, and that market conditions will by and large determine when and if it stakes place. In an interview with the Irish Independent newspaper, Mr Moat said that ‘a debt repayment extension secured by the telecoms group earlier this year meant that it’s not under any immediate pressure to pursue an IPO’. The Irish incumbent has taken on investment banks Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley to explore strategic financing options for the company, including a potential IPO that is estimated to value Eircom at around EUR2 billion (USD2.7 billion). The CFO noted that early signs of a spike in IPO activity earlier this year seems to have now subsided, but declined to say whether the markets’ apparent weak sentiment would either accelerate or delay its flotation. The telco’s single biggest shareholder is US investment giant Blackstone, which owns a 25% stake following Eircom’s restructuring and Examinership in 2012. Other principal shareholders include Anchorage Capital, Bank of New York Mellon-owned Alcentra, and Silver Point Capital, but the PTO is still saddled with around EUR2.3 billion of debt (maturing in 2019). The IPO is intended to help further reduce debt.
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