MBO sees Swiftcall eye broadband market

28 Sep 2006

Irish no-frills calls firm Swiftcall has been acquired as part of a management buyout (MBO) led by its CEO Tommy Tuite and chief technology officer Fergus Kernan.

Swiftcall said it will shortly undergo a brand re-launch and plans to aggressively enter the broadband market later this year.

The company was originally established by Tom McCabe in 1994 in order to attack the Eircom monopoly prior to deregulation of the market. Swiftcall also competed with BT in the UK market and were the first to receive a licence to buy wholesale from BT and resell these calls. Swiftcall was sold to Japanese telco KDDI in 1998.

Tuite and Kernan have been involved with the firm for over 11 years and have agreed a deal with KDDI where they will purchase 100pc of the firm.

Swiftcall will retain KDDI as an interconnect partner, along with others telcos such as Eircom, Verizon and Cable & Wireless.

Tuite commented: “The company is now Irish owned and operated again and will continue to offer the same keen level of personal service that it has offered for 11 years.”

Swiftcall currently employs 30 people at its Dublin headquarters on Merrion Road. Its core business is prepaid calls which are sold as cards and top-up vouchers through newsagents and sold online and over the phone through their 24×7 telesales office in Dublin. The company also has a single-line billing division which competes directly with Eircom for residential customers.

The company recently invested in a new switching infrastructure, which will allow them to compete head-on in the small and medium-sized enterprise and consumer space with companies such as BT and Eircom.

“This company has a reputation for offering low-cost international calls to families whose children had emigrated to the US and Australia in the Nineties and there is still a strong sense of loyalty to our service amongst these customers,” Tuite said.

By John Kennedy