ST Telemedia seeks Eircom $4.4b debt shield

Liam Tung
telecomasia.net
ST Telemedia, the majority shareholder of Irish carrier Eircom, is considering refinancing the telecoms company’s intractable €3.3 billion ($4.35b) debt.
 
The company has hired boutique financial advisors Gleacher Shacklock and JP Morgan to execute a deal for Ireland’s largest fixed line carrier, as one of several refinancing options it is considering for the carrier.
 
Details of the plans have just been made public, after ST Telemedia Europe managing director Terry Clontz revealed its plans to Irish communications minister Eamon Ryan in June, the Irish Independent reports.
 
Privately-held ST Telemedia - the prime shareholder of Singapore’s StarHub and Malaysian 3G provider U Mobile - acquired a 57% stake in Eircom for €140 million late last year, but despite major cuts has been unable to substantially reduce its debt levels.
 
Eircom is facing tough conditions in Ireland with revenues down 7% to €455 million during calendar 1Q10, and ebitda falling 3% to €170 million.
 
The company is battling to maintain its dominance in Ireland, with its share of the fixed-line market share falling to 49.7% in 1Q10 from 50.3% in Q409, according to regulator ComReg.

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