Irish former monopoly eircom could be sold off within the next 18 months after its Australian majority shareholder confirmed it is conducting a review of its ownership in the debt-laden operator. The Irish Independent says the review is part of a proposal unveiled by Babcock & Brown Capital (BCM) and its beleaguered parent firm Babcock & Brown, that will see BCM pay an initial EUR17.5 million (USD22.5 million) to gain control of its own management structure. The paper goes on to say that additional payments totalling EUR9.4 million could be made to the parent company if there is a change in ownership at eircom or BCM before 30 April 2010. Babcock & Brown owns 8% of the Irish operator, which was acquired two years ago. Industry watchers are in agreement that the inclusion of the additional payment clauses is a clear signal that a sale of eircom is under way. However, the telco’s EUR4.2 billion of debt could make it a tough deal to push through in the current financial climate.