€2bn Eircom bid in pipeline

The owner of 3 Ireland, Hutchinson Whampoa are believed to be preparing a revised €2bn bid for Eircom.

A conditional €2bn bid by the company has already been rejected by Mick McAteer of Grant Thornton — the examiner appointed to Eircom by the High Court.

It has been reported Mr McAteer will not be bound by the terms of a lock-up agreement that had sought to stop Eircom being placed under control of anyone other than the banks.

The agreement between lenders and management would see them only support a rescue plan where the banks take control.

Mr McAteer told a Sunday newspaper he would not be bound by the agreement.

A second offer from Hutchinson Whampoa is understood to be within the same €2bn price range, but with no conditions attached other than due diligence.

The offer is also understood to include a €1.3bn investment into Eircom’s services and infrastructure.

Eircom will meet with its creditors on Thursday. The company is currently under protection from the High Court but owes its creditors €4bn.

Management has secured a deal with most of its first-lien and second-lien lenders.

First-lien lenders would take a 15% haircut on their €2.7bn of debt in a takeover.

Second-lien creditors would only get €35m of the €350m they are owed.


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