Smart locked in talks with backers, creditors to discuss its future

15 Jun 2009

Irish broadband and telecoms provider Smart Telecom is reportedly locked in negotiations with its financial backers and creditors over the future of the heavily indebted business. The beleaguered altnet is understood to be attempting to refinance its operation and secure an additional cash injection with which to underpin a balance sheet that shows liabilities in excess of EUR63 million (USD88 million). A resolution on the talks is expected within the next three weeks, according to people familiar with the situation. Smart Telecom, which is owned by entrepreneur Brendan Murtagh, sells voice telephony, broadband access and TV services to the residential, corporate and government markets. It has 14,000 residential customers, 600 business customers and operates a network of 2,500 payphones. However, it has been unable to turn a profit in recent years and is heavily dependent on Smart Yu Roe Broadband (SYB), a vehicle controlled by Murtagh, to provide it with financial support.