New York-based merchant bank Veronis Suhler Stevenson is among a list of possible buyers for the Irish arm of cable operator NTL. The bank is thought to be partnering finance house Merrion Capital and Belgian bank KBC, with its Irish subsidiary IIB, to fund a bid. Other names linked to the sale include telecoms tycoon Denis O’Brien (with the backing of US private equity firm the Carlyle Group), UCG (the owner of Irish cable company Chorus) and the Irish businessman John Riordan.
NTL Ireland is the Republic’s biggest cable supplier with more than 340,000 customers in Dublin, Galway and Waterford. Its sale value has been estimated at between EUR150 million and EUR200 million, well below the EUR680 million purchase price that its US owner NTL Group paid for the company in 1999.