Friday 21 October 2016

CEO claims Eir is now worth more than €3.3bn

Richard Moat
Richard Moat

Eir - the company formerly known as Eircom - is worth more than the €3.3bn price tag placed on it earlier this year by an unnamed suitor, according to chief executive Richard Moat.

"You must anticipate that the business can grow to levels beyond that," he said, speaking after Eircom unveiled a €16m rebrand that's the biggest by any company in Ireland in about 20 years.

The Eircom name has existed since 1999, when Telecom Eireann was rebranded ahead of its stock market flotation. The new brand was designed by London-based agency Moving Brands, whose clients have included the likes of Netflix, Google, Sony and Hewlett-Packard. expenditure Mr Moat said that the company's biggest shareholder - New York-based private equity firm Anchorage Capital - is fully supportive of the group's strategy, which has included significant capital expenditure in order to roll out high-speed broadband around the country.

Anchorage Capital now owns close to 40pc of Eircom, having snapped up a 25pc stake from Blackstone (GSO) in May.

"Anchorage are now our largest shareholder," said Mr Moat.

"They were there for many years before that. We know them very well. "They're pursuing exactly the same strategy that GSO was in terms of supporting the continuing, significant investment which we need to make in the company."

Eir has invested €1bn in its business over the past three years and will spend a total of €2.5bn over a 10-year period, according to Mr Moat.

"All that cash has been made by the company," he added. "Our debt position has not changed for three years.

"Everything that we've done, all of the investments that we've made, the cost of the rebranding, has come entirely out of the cash generated by the business. We're self-sustaining as a business in cash terms."

He said an improved service to customers had created a "much more stable company with a much better future".

Mr Moat also said that the name of the group's Meteor mobile brand would not be changed.

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