NTL Ireland for sale?

6 Mar 2003

The Irish arm of cable company NTL is up for sale, according to reports this morning.

Referring to sources close to the company, a report in today’s Irish Independent said the company is for sale but that it would be unlikely to fetch much more than €100,000.

The Anglo-American telecommunications giant bought Cablelink for €674m in May 1999, at the time it was jointly owned by RTE and Eircom, and promised to invest another €350m to upgrade the network and give its customers digital TV and high-speed internet access.

Parties linked to buying the debt-ridden cable company include venture capital firm Apax Partners and former Esat supremo Denis O’Brien, who made an unsuccessful bid to buy the company in 1999.

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NTL Ireland recorded a pre-tax loss of €24.3m in 2001. It is believed to have in the region of 350,000 subscribers in the Republic.

A company spokesperson would not comment on the report.

By Brian Skelly