Denis O'Brien's Digicel in Caribbean deal with French firm that controls Eir

Denis O’Brien’s highly indebted mobile and broadband group Digicel has struck a deal to allow access to some of its networks for the first time in the Caribbean by rival Iliad.
Denis O'Brien's Digicel in Caribbean deal with French firm that controls Eir

Denis O’Brien’s highly indebted mobile and broadband group Digicel has struck a deal to allow access to some of its networks for the first time in the Caribbean by rival Iliad, the Paris stock market-listed telco controlled by French billionaire Xavier Niel that also owns a majority of Eir.

Communications companies around the world have long sought out ways to cut their debts by leasing out or selling their networks to other companies.

Digicel in recent weeks sought a US court to approve its huge bond restructuring deal which will help it lop around $1.5bn (€1.3bn) from its $7bn debts.

Digicel chief executive Jean-Yves Charlier said the Iliad network-sharing deal would also help to control costs as Iliad launches its mobile services in the region

It said the deal will benefit Digicel in the French West Indies, including Martinique, Guadeloupe, French Guiana, St Martin and St Barth.

After multiple owners in the past 20 years, a stake of over 64% in Eir was sold in 2018 to Mr Niel’s NJJ investment vehicle and to the listed telecom Iliad, in which Mr Niel is a significant shareholder.

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