Eir sells majority stake in comms provider Tetra Ireland for €76m

14 Jan 2022

Image: © vladimircaribb/Stock.adobe.com

Tetra Ireland offers a secure communications network that is used by Ireland’s emergency services.

Eir is selling its majority stake in secure communication provider Tetra Ireland in a €76m deal with a recently established investment trust.

Digital 9 Infrastructure has agreed to acquire a 56pc stake in Tetra Ireland from Eir and may take full control of the company for a total consideration of €135.7m. This is dependent on an agreement with other shareholders Sigma Networks and Motorola, which have a 25pc and 19pc stake in the company, respectively.

Digital 9 Infrastructure was formed last year and is overseen by London-based Triple Point Investment Management. It invests in critical digital infrastructure assets.

Its first acquisition was Aqua Comms, a Dublin-based company that specialises in subsea fibre-optic cable networks, which it announced plans to purchase in March last year for $215m. It also owns Verne Global, a UK-headquartered company that operates a data centre campus in Iceland.

This week, Digital 9 Infrastructure said it plans to raise a further £200m by selling more shares at the end of the month. It has raised more than £750m since its initial public offering and has committed most of these funds to acquisitions.

Tetra network

Tetra Ireland operates the State’s National Digital Radio Service (NDRS) and has been the exclusive operator of public safety communication networks since it won a Government contract in 2006. The company bid for a renewal of this contract in 2020.

Tetra’s network provides a greater level of security, resilience and redundancy compared to services offered by commercial mobile operators. Its platform promises 98pc geographic coverage including mountainous and remote rural locations, making it a useful communication network for Ireland’s emergency services.

Around 97pc of Tetra’s customer base is public bodies, comprising around 70 agencies with 24,000 active subscribers.

Tetra’s network users include An Garda Siochána, the National Ambulance Service, Dublin Fire Brigade, the Irish Coast Guard, the National Parks and Wildlife Service, the Irish Prison Service, EirGrid, the Irish Naval Service, Inland Fisheries Ireland, the Office of Public Works, Irish Water and ESB Networks.

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Leigh Mc Gowran is a journalist with Silicon Republic