Smart Telecom expected to be sold this month

6 Jul 2009

Two companies have emerged as potential buyers of broadband player Smart Telecom and the business is expected to go for between €12m and €15m.

Smart’s sale is being driven by its bondholders who could at any moment seek “immediate repayment” of €47.9m.

The company was taken over from founder Oisin Fanning by businessman Brendan Murtagh after it racked up losses of €55.6m and was disconnected by Eircom.

Murtagh subsequently raised €39.5m to repay creditors. However, it is understood that the company has incurred further trading losses and is unlikely to achieve profitability and positive cashflow and this year laid off 60 of its 90-strong workforce.

According to a report in yesterday’s Sunday Times, Complete Telecom and Planet 21 are in talks to buy the company.

Complete Telecom, led by businessman Kevin Murphy and backed by investor Bill McCabe’s Oyster Capital, has a 1Gbps fibre network that is capable of serving 95pc of corporate players in Ireland.

Galway headquartered Planet 21 is a network solutions provider and Cisco partner with offices in Dublin, Cork and Belfast.

By John Kennedy

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