French consortium acquires majority stake in eir
The deal has to be approved by the regulator.
This morning, it was announced that a French consortium has agreed to acquire a majority stake in eir.
It’s expected that the deal will be completed in the first half of next year, once it gets the necessary clearance from the European Commission, the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment and the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland.
Who is buying the majority share in eir?
The consortium is being led by NJJ Telecom, which is part of NJJ Group - the private investment firm of telecoms investor and operator Xavier Niel - along with Iliad SA.
Iliad runs the ‘Free’ brand in France, which is one of France’s largest mobile and internet service provider, with nearly 20m subscribers.
It is said that Xavier Niel revolutionised the telecoms market in France, ensuring that French consumers enjoy some of the lowest mobile and broadband rates in the developed world.
What does this mean for eir customers?
The statement about the transaction this morning said it will result in substantial investment to deliver better services for eir’s customers - and will benefit Irish business and consumers alike.
Xavier Niel, Iliad and NJJ Telecom Europe, said:
“We are a long-term investor in the telecoms sector and bring global knowhow to eir. In our businesses in France, Monaco and Switzerland we have consistently delivered investment in infrastructure, while driving down prices for consumers.”
They also referred to the other remaining shareholders - Anchorage Capital and Davidson Kempner - and said they looking forward to working with eir’s team “to bring more innovation and choice to Irish consumers.”
The consortium say they 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, which will be welcome news for anyone still struggling with slow broadband.
Adding to this, Carl Leaver, Chairman of Eircom Holdings (Ireland) Limited, said the deal marks an important milestone for eir, its customers and for Ireland. He added:
“Iliad and NJJ Telecom Europe bring a wealth of global telecommunications experience which will be of huge benefit to eir and its customers”