Eircom is the only major contender left in the race to buy the country’s third mobile phone company, Meteor, it emerged tonight.
Smart Telecom pulled out of the battle for Meteor as the bidding war saw the price soar. Irish entrepreneur Denis O’Brien withdrew his bid earlier this month.
Eircom will be able to raise substantial funds for the purchase through a share issue.
If it purchases Meteor, the company will be re-entering the mobile phone sector it left in 2001 with the sale of Eircell.
Smart Telecom said it withdrew from the bidding process after an intensive review.
Smart Telecom said it would now consider pursuing other commercial opportunities within the Irish market.