Eircom calls in Godson to run PR for flotation

Ireland’s biggest telecoms company, Eircom, has brought in former Goldman Sachs director of corporate affairs Rory Godson ahead of a likely company flotation.

Godson’s financial communications firm Powerscourt has been engaged to handle media interest in the planned listing of the Irish telephone operator. The move could make over £1bn.

Eircom will continue an existing arrangement with Irish firm Q4 Public Relations. That account is run by Q4 partner and ex-Eircom director of communications Gerry O’Sullivan.

Godson’s role will be to deal with the London market where any future

flotation is most likely to take place.

Godson and Eircom refused to comment on the appointment but O’Sullivan said the company had not yet decided on whether it would go for a full retail offering.

Eircom has remained tight-lipped about its flotation plans ever since rumours of the planned listing first surfaced last month.

But the company is reported to have communicated its intention to float to shareholders at the end of January.

Formerly Telecom Eireann, Eircom was privatised in 1999 when the Irish government sold its 51 per cent stake.

Media magnate Tony O’Reilly’s Valentia consortium bought a 70 per cent stake in the company in 2001.

The legacy of the Telecom Eireann’s privatisation, which saw many investors lose money during the subsequent dotcom crash, has led some market observers to speculate that Eircom’s return to the stock market will be made via the placing of large stakes with institutional investors with a much smaller retail float.

Godson set up Powerscourt with ex-Telewest director of policy and communications John Murray last November (PRWeek, 14 November 2003).

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