Eircom cut its debt burden following an examinership process but its owners wants to reduce that figure further
Eircom has filed a prospectus with the Central Bank as it looks towards a fresh stock market flotation, according to sources cited by news agency Bloomberg.
The telecom group, which is controlled by Blackstone, is said to be seeking to raise up to €1bn, which it would use to sale to further trim its debt and free up cash for dividends, according to three separate sources.
A new Eircom flotation would mark the third time the company had listed in the past 15 years.
According to Bloomberg, Eircom’s advisers had approached a number of private-equity firms about a potential investment, but they had opted against bidding due to high valuation expectations and a lack of growth prospects.
Eircom entered examinership in 2012 due to its unsustainable debt and achieved a 40% write-off as part of its restructuring programme.
Its debt burden stood at €2.4bn by the end of June, with the company’s owners keen to reduce that further.
Eircom was first formed following flotation of Telecom Eireann in 1999, with the company taken private two years later by a group led by Tony O’Reilly Snr.
It returned to the stock market in 2004, but was once again privatised after being acquired by Australian investment firm Babcock and Brown.
Blackstone became the firm’s largest shareholder following its 2012 examinership, holding a 24.4% stake.
Other firms with interests in Eircom include Anchorage Capital, with a 8% stake, and Credit Suisse, which owns 6.3%.
Earlier this year Eircom hired Rothschild, Goldman Sachs Group and Morgan Stanley to advise on options for the business.