Eircom to plough on with EUR400m broadband plan; ailing firm seeks white knight

12 Mar 2012

The Irish Independent newspaper reports that ailing former monopoly Eircom hopes to avoid implementing another round of job cuts and forge ahead with EUR400 million (USD537.5 million) investment in ultra-high speed fibre networks, even as it seeks examinership status – possibly within the next few weeks. The telco is rewriting its long-term recovery plan in light of higher–than-expected falls in revenues and a new plan is likely to be submitted to creditors and lenders soon. With the revised plan at the centre of Eircom’s application for examinership, the paper says the operator has no plan to reduce overall staff levels beyond the cuts announced last year. Further, the amended business plan highlights Eircom’s intention to speed up its plan to roll out fibre to a million homes across the Republic to three years, from the original four. In 2011 Eircom confirmed plans to cut 1,000 jobs over 15 months to reduce the total to around 5,000. The company previously cut 1,800 jobs in 2009 and 2010, it said. The beleaguered operator has been trying to find a buyer in recent weeks and hopes to deliver good news when bids are expected to be tabled by close of business next Monday. However, industry insiders say it is unlikely that Eircom will attract much interest from new investors and more likely, its 200-odd group of international banks and hedge funds will seek control of the telco in exchange for annulling its debts.

Ireland, eir