Iliad consortium to buy eir for $4.1billion
20 December 2017 | Natalie Bannerman
A consortium of buyers which includes NJJ Telecom Europe and Iliad SA are to acquire a majority of Irish telecommunications company eir for €3.5 billion ($4.1 billion).
eir is currently owned by an investor group consisting of Anchorage Capital Group, L.L.C, Davidson Kempner Capital Management LP, GIC and management.
Speaking on the news, Carl Leaver, chairman of Eircom Holdings Limited, said: “Today marks an important milestone for eir, our customers and indeed for Ireland itself. Iliad and NJJ Telecom Europe bring a wealth of global telecommunications experience which will be of huge benefit to eir and its customers. Coupled with the continued involvement of our existing shareholders, Anchorage Capital and Davidson Kempner, the company is well positioned to continue its operational transformation, underpinned by sustained investment, innovative products and services and improved financial performance”.
The transaction is due to close in the first half of 2018 and the additional investment will be used to deliver better services for eir customers. Closing of the deal is subject to certain condition which include obtaining EU Commission Competition clearance from the European Commission, getting Media Merger consent from the Minister for Communications, as well as consent from Climate Action and Environment in Ireland and Broadcasting Authority of Ireland.
We are pleased to work with Xavier Niel and the world-renowned telecoms investment team at Iliad and NJJ Telecom Europe, who have achieved strong results across Europe,” added Kevin Ulrich, CEO of Anchorage Capital Group. “We are confident that their expertise and long-term investment approach will bring significant benefits to the people of Ireland.”
Of the consortium members the split in ownership will be as follows: NJJ will own 32.9%, Iliad SA will own 31.6% and Anchorage Capital Group and Davidson Kempner will retain a combined 35.5% share in the company, a 26.6% and 8.9% respectively.
Xavier Niel, of Iliad and NJJ Telecom Europe, said: "eir is an essential part of the Irish economy and we have closely followed its transformation over the last five years through the excellent work of its team. We are a long-term investor in the telecoms sector and bring global knowhow to eir. We are delighted to partner with Anchorage Capital and Davidson Kempner and are looking forward to working with the talented eir team to bring more innovation and choice to Irish consumers. We want to invest for the future of Ireland and hope to work closely with the Irish Government and ComReg to ensure that people across the country have access to world-class super-fast fixed and mobile broadband".
Eir reported revenues of €1.3 billion ($1.5 billion) and EBITA of €520 million ($617 million) for the financial year ended 30 June 2017.
Eir has also announced that current CEO Richard Moat, is to step down from his role upon completion of the transaction, the company has said that it will ensure a smooth succession process.