Eircom hires Citigate to advise on planned IPO

DUBLIN/LONDON: Eircom, Ireland’s dominant telecoms company, has drafted in Citigate Dewe Rogerson (CDR) to handle its imminent dual listing.

The appointment comes barely two weeks after Eircom brought in Powerscourt, the firm founded by former Goldman Sachs director of corporate affairs Rory Godson, to handle media interest in the then unannounced IPO (PRWeek, 20 February).

The company brought in CDR last week before confirming its announcement to float on the Dublin and London stock exchanges.

CDR is working alongside Powerscourt and Irish firm Q4 Public Relations, according to Q4 partner Gerry O’Sullivan.

O’Sullivan was formerly Eircom director of comms and has handled the company’s PR since leaving to found Q4 several years ago.

CDR executive director Tony Carlisle is leading the team advising Eircom and the company’s owners Valentia Holdings. He reports to Eircom CEO Dr Philip Nolan.

Valentia said last Thursday that it intended to raise £199m through a listing on the London and Irish stock markets. The firm said it had planned the listing for the first half of this month and that shares would be offered to institutional and other investors.

Valentia is to change its name to Eircom Group as part of the flotation.

Valentia, a private equity consortium, acquired Eircom in 2001 taking the company off the stock market two years after the Irish government had privatised Eircom’s predecessor Telecom Eireann.

In the years that followed, Eircom sold its majority stake in directory services business Golden Pages and reduced its presence in the UK.

Eircom’s turnover for the nine-month period to 31 December 2003 was £814m, with earnings before interest, tax and amortisation of £298m.

Eircom operates around 80 per cent of the Irish fixed-line market and is aiming to hit 100,000 broadband connections by the end of the year.

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