Australia’s Babcock & Brown Capital, a fund managed by Babcock & Brown Limited which owns a majority stake in Ireland’s fixed line former monopoly eircom, could sell off the company within a year, according to a report in the Sunday Tribune newspaper, citing sources within the Irish PTO. Babcock & Brown’s share value has halved over the last ten days amid concerns that it will not be able to borrow fresh funds to pay back its existing loans.
eircom’s board announced in July 2006 that it had accepted a takeover bid from the Australian investment fund in an all-cash deal that valued the operator at EUR2.4 billion (USD3.1 billion). Babcock & Brown agreed to take on EUR3.8 billion in debt as part of the transaction, but rejected accusations that this would handicap investment in eircom infrastructure and services. eircom also owns the country’s third largest mobile phone operator Meteor Mobile.