A consortium led by NJJ Telecom Europe, part of Xavier Niel’s private investment firm NJJ Group, has agreed to acquire a majority stake in Irish multi-service operator eir (formerly Eircom), at an enterprise value of approximately EUR3.5 billion (USD4.1 billion). On completion of the deal NJJ will own 32.9% of eir, while the other consortium member, French telecoms company Iliad SA – itself 52%-owned by Mr Niel – will hold a 31.6% stake. Iliad has also been granted a call option by NJJ, exercisable in 2024, which will enable it to acquire 80% of NJJ’s stake in eir (i.e. 26.3% of eir’s capital). With eir currently owned by an investor group which includes Anchorage Capital Group, L.L.C, Davidson Kempner Capital Management LP, GIC and management, once the deal is done the first two named of those will retain a combined 35.5% share in the Irish operator (26.6% and 8.9%, respectively). The deal remains subject to regulatory approval, but subject to this it is expected to be completed within the first half of 2018.
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