Majority stake in eir being sold to French billionaire

Business | Wed 20 Dec | Author – Business & Finance
Richard Moat
Richard Moat, CEO, eir

The French billionaire Xavier Niel’s consortium of NJJ Telecom Europe and French telecoms company Iliad will pay up to €1 billion for the majority stake in eir.

The Irish telecoms company is currently owned by investor group including Anchorage Capital Group, LLC Davidson Kempner Capital Management and GIC Private Limited. GIC is selling its share while Anchorage and Davidson Kempner will keep their 26.6% and 8.9% shares, respectively.

NJJ will assume a 32.9% stake in eir and Iliad will take 31.6%. Niel owns 52% of Iliad and the company is paying €320 million for its share in eir. Iliad also has a call option which would allow the company take full control of eir in 2024.

The deal, which will see eir CEO Richard Moat step down, will be complete in the first half of next year. eir is now valued at €3.5 billion.

Though it is announced, the agreement still has to pass certain barriers such as the EU Competition Clearance from the European Commission, consent from the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment in Ireland and the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland.

Niel said of eir that it is an “essential part of the Irish economy”.