Eircom confirms Babcock & Brown approach

22 Feb 2006

Eircom yesterday confirmed to the Irish Stock Exchange that it received a preliminary approach from Australian finance firm Babcock & Brown Capital that may lead to an offer being made. Babcock & Brown Capital yesterday increased its holding in Eircom from 10.8pc to 12.5pc.

The move by Babcock & Brown comes after Swisscom had to call off its attempt to take over Eircom following objections from the Swiss government.

“The Board of Eircom confirmed today that the company has received a preliminary approach from Babcock & Brown Capital, which may or may not lead to an offer being made for the company,” it told the stock exchange yesterday.

Eircom added that a further announcement may be made in due course as and when the need arises.
Babcock & Brown Capital already owns 12.5pc of Eircom.

In October the company bought 10.8pc of Eircom for about €220m, with its parent Babcock & Brown taking a further 1.7pc stake.

The Australian finance firm says it has a broad investment mandate. “If the right opportunity becomes available, it is possible that the company may commit all its capital to a single investment.

“The only goal is to achieve risk-adjusted returns over the long term consistent with the company’s investment objective,” it says.

By John Kennedy