Eircom sells Phonewatch division

Eircom has sold its home security unit, Eircom Phonewatch, to a Norwegian buyer for a fee believed to be in excess of €100m.

The company said in a statement yesterday that it had accepted an offer for its market-leading home security alarm-monitoring service from Oslo-based company, Sector Alarm Corporation.

According to Eircom group chief executive, Herb Hribar: “After careful consideration, the board concluded that Phonewatch was not a core business unit, as we continue to focus on delivering super-fast next generation technologies to our fixed and mobile customers.”

Eircom did not disclose the financial details of the deal, but it is understood that the Scandinavian company is spending over €100m on the asset.

The money will go towards boosting Eircom’s core telecoms business and stabilising the debt-laden company.

“The proceeds will be used to support our strategic plan to deliver long-term stability for the group as the key telecommunications provider in Ireland,” Mr Hribar added.

It was reported earlier this year that Eircom had appointed international investment bank, Rothschild to find a buyer for Phonewatch — which was established in 1991 and has around 100,000 customers. The business, although a non-core aspect of the overall group, is profitable, although the group does not break out numbers for individual divisions.

The Norwegian buyer said yesterday that it will use the acquisition of Phonewatch as a stepping stone to growing a wider presence in Ireland’s security services sector.

“This is a great acquisition for Sector Alarm. We are delighted to have purchased such a strong business,” the company’s founder and chief executive, Jorgen Dahl, said.

“Phonewatch is the market leader in home security in Ireland, and gives us an immediate presence and platform for growth in the Irish market,” Mr Dahl added.


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