eircom seeks government approval to split retail, wholesale operations

5 Oct 2007

Irish former fixed line monopoly eircom has submitted a written request to the government and the telecoms watchdog ComReg, detailing its plans to split its wholesale and retail operations into separate businesses. According to a report in the Irish Independent newspaper, the move being proposed by eircom chairman Pierre Danon is the first part of a plan under which its owners, Babcock & Brown Capital will sell off the firm’s retail business while retaining its lucrative wholesale arm. Australia-based B&B acquired the PTO in 2006 for EUR2.4 billion but made no secret of its desire to explore the possibility of hiving off the retail and wholesale businesses – dubbed ‘netco’ and ‘servco’, respectively. A timetable for the split is not known as the government already has its hands full with issues such as broadband assess, the Broadcasting Bill and postal issues.