Dublin-based telecoms firms Eircom Group has announced that three of its subsidiaries – Eircom Limited, Meteor Mobile Communications Limited and Irish Telecommunications Investments Limited – yesterday submitted an application to the High Court in Dublin to be placed in Irish examinership. In a statement the group confirmed that Mr Justice Peter Kelly has confirmed Court protection for the three firms and will give his decision on the appointment of an interim examiner today.
The decision to enter into examinership status – believed to be the largest in Irish corporate history – is ultimately designed to return the group’s balance sheet to a stable financial footing for the medium to long term, with reduced debt. It is understood that under the plan, Eircom’s gross debts would be reduced from about EUR4 billion (USD5.32 billion) currently to about EUR2.35 billion. In the meantime, the firm says that it will be ‘business as usual for all Eircom operations. All existing voice, broadband and data services provided to our residential, business, government and corporate customers will continue. The company intends to maintain its existing relationships with all suppliers and honour all outstanding work and payment agreements’.
Eircom’s statement also stresses that there will be no ‘direct impact’ on its workforce, although reports elsewhere suggest the axe may have to fall across the group operations. BreakingNews Ireland writes that voluntary redundancies will be required to save the former monopoly and its mobile subsidiary Meteor. The group currently employs around 5,500 people.