eircom to issue 313 million new shares to fund Meteor purchase

30 Aug 2005

Ireland’s dominant fixed line operator eircom says it will raise EUR423 million in a rights issue to fund its recently agreed deal to purchase Meteor Mobile. The telco plans to issue 313 million new shares, equivalent to 29% of its enlarged capital, in a ‘five-for-twelve’ issue next month. Shares will be priced at EUR1.35 each, a discount of 24% on yesterday’s closing price. The deal represents a major gamble for eircom, whose borrowings are already among the highest of Europe’s incumbents. Its purchase of Meteor will see it re-enter the wireless market just five years after quitting via the sale of its own mobile subsidiary eircell to Vodafone in 2001.