Eircom Trust backs ST Telemedia’s bid for operator

24 Jun 2009

It has emerged that the powerful Eircom Share Ownership Trust (ESOT) has decided to back a bid by Singapore Telecom (ST) Telemedia to acquire Ireland’s incumbent telecoms operator.

ST Telemedia is understood to have topped up its cash offer of €120m by a further €40m.

Earlier this week, ST Telemedia confirmed it was considering a bid for Ireland’s incumbent operator Eircom, in what would be the company’s first acquisition outside Asia in several years.

The company is considering a potential investment in Eircom through Eircom Holdings, the Australia-based parent of Eircom, formerly known as Babcock & Brown Capital (BCM).

However, it is understood that owner Eircom Holdings is also considering its own bid to retain ownership of the company and is surprised at ESOT’s backing of the ST Telemedia bid.

Eircom is facing its fifth change of ownership in 10 years, having been privatised by the Irish Government in 1999.

The company agreed with unions to cut staff by 15pc over the next two years as part of a US$135m cost-savings plan.

By John Kennedy

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years