The digital business week

20 Mar 2012

A digest of the top business and technology news stories from the past week.

Eircom ends sales process – lenders’ new plan supported ‘in principle’

After completing the M&A process with no satisfactory bids apparent, Eircom has in principle welcomed revised proposals from first lien lenders that may kick start a €400m investment plan to fibre-connect 1m homes in the next three to four years.

ERC Holdings Ltd said it was in principle supportive of a revised proposal submitted by first lien senior lenders.

The next step in the coming weeks is to secure a sustainable financial structure for Eircom to execute on its plans.

The first lien lenders’ proposal is understood to be based on strategy for the company that centres on a €400m investment that will see fibre reach 1m premises around Ireland.

It is also understood that the plan – originally meant to be executed within a four-year period – has been shaved down to three years for execution.

While the plan has been accepted in principle, it still has to be formally accepted by the syndicate that owns the incumbent operator.

TerminalFour achieves strong global growth spurt

Dublin-based web-content management company TerminalFour has secured €3.6m worth of new business in emerging markets in 2011, having expanded into five continents and creating 15 new roles in the process, the company announced.

TerminalFour now has clients spanning Ireland, the UK, Switzerland, France, the US, Canada, South Africa and Hong Kong.

The company said exports accounted for 91pc of new business revenue in 2011, with the company having also teamed up with 21 new partners across the globe.

Digg co-founder Kevin Rose to join Google?

Tech entrepreneur Kevin Rose, who co-founded Digg, Pownce and Milk, has reportedly been hired by Google. It follows Milk’s recent closure of its app Oink.

AllThingsD reports that Rose and a number of other staff members from Milk will join Google. It’s unclear as to what will happen to Milk after the hires take place.

Rose has been a host on San Francisco cable channel TechTV along with podcast Diggnation. He also invested in companies such as Zynga, Foursquare and Twitter.

If the report is accurate, then this hire could prove useful for Google as it tries to expand its social media presence on the web through Google+. Google had planned to acquire Digg in 2008, however the deal fell through.

Milk launched Oink four months ago, which allowed users to rate places and things through the app. It was downloaded 150,000 times in just more than a month, however, the start-up decided to shut it down, saying the app was just a test and the company was aimed at trying new ideas.

Tech visionary Dr Hermann Hauser joins Intune Networks’ board

Serial tech entrepreneur, investor and co-founder of Amadeus Capital Partners Dr Hermann Hauser has joined the board of Dublin-based Intune Networks as a non-executive director.

Hauser has been closely watching the development of Intune Networks ever since Amadeus Capital Partners, the investment fund he co-founded, made an initial investment in the business in 2008.

Speaking about his appointment to the Intune board, Hauser said the company has proven its technology with key network operators. He said Intune is now entering its commercial phase at a time when the need for its fast-tuning laser technology has never been greater.

Intune is the brainchild of John Dunne and Tom Farrell, who co-founded the company in Dublin in 1999. The duo had been carrying out post-graduate research work at University College Dublin in tunable laser technology. This led them to follow up on how to successfully apply this technology to allow a manifold increase in the amount of content and data that could be transported along an optical fibre.

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