B&B to end its Irish love affair?

1 Sep 2008

Troubled Australian investment bank Babcock & Brown (B&B) is reportedly planning to end its relationship with Irish telco eircom in the coming months and, to that end, is reviewing its management agreement with Babcock Brown Capital (BCM), the listed subsidiary fund that has a direct stake in the Republic’s former monopoly. According to a report in The Irish Times, the termination of the bank’s management agreement could trigger a sale of eircom, although it is understood that the operator, which was acquired by B&B only two years ago, is not for sale at the moment. The paper quotes BCM outgoing director Rob Topfer as saying: ‘There are no current proposals under which BCM puts eircom up for sale. It’s not a market to be selling assets in’. BCM also reiterated its commitment to ‘maximise shareholder value’ from a fund that has lost more than 28% of its value in just twelve months. The investment bank is closing down the BCM corporate finance unit as part of a reorganisation programme brought on by a sustained and rapid deterioration in its share price, in light of questions about the viability of its business model.

Ireland, eir