Smart’s incoming CEO John Riordain buys 20% stake in ailing firm

11 Jan 2007

Kerry-born John Riordain, a former chief executive, president and chairman of the management board of Netherlands-based UPC, has purchased a 20% stake in the new owner of struggling Irish alternative operator Smart Telecom. The company is being bought out by Calally, a company owned by Kingspan’s Brendan Murtagh. Riordain is also taking over as Smart’s CEO when Ciaran Casey quits the post next month.

Smart ran into trouble in September last year when it ran out of cash after an expansion plan failed to deliver. Thousands of its customers were then cut off following a dispute with eircom and then it lost a court case to force the regulator ComReg to award it with the country’s fourth mobile licence. Having failed to secure a foothold in the residential phone and broadband market, Smart now plans to focus on corporate clients. ‘We believe that our refocused business plan will allow Smart Telecom to use its own network to provide highly competitive voice and data services. This effectively positions Smart Telecom as the number three operator based on our network capability,’ Riordain said.

Ireland, eir