Eircom to return to public life

Eircom, the principal provider of fixed line telecommunications services in Ireland, which was bought in a public-to-private bid by a consortium known as Valentia Telecommunications, is due to resume its public status with a dual listing in Dublin and London by mid March.

Valentia Telecommunications is led by Sir Anthony O’Reilly (chairman) and comprised of Providence Equity Partners, Soros Private Equity Partners, Goldman Sachs and Eircom’s Employee Share Ownership Trust. Valentia bought Eircom for €3.014bn in September 2001.

According to a statement made by Valentia, the company will raise approximately €300m in gross proceeds through a primary offer of ordinary shares, the net proceeds of which will primarily be used to repay a portion of the existing indebtedness and / or for general corporate purposes. In addition, the offering will include a substantial secondary offer of existing ordinary shares. As part of the flotation, Valentia will changes its name to eircom Group plc.

Citigroup, Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley are all appointed joint bookrunners to the offer and Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley will also be joint sponsors.

When taken private in 2001 the price paid was €1.21 per share, indicative share pricing so far released by the company puts the share price in the €1.48 to €1.75 per share range.