December 20, 2017 / 5:50 PM / a month ago

Fitch: eir's Strategic Priorities Unchanged after Planned Acquisition by Iliad/NJJ

(The following statement was released by the rating agency) LONDON, December 20 (Fitch) Fitch Ratings expects the ratings of eircom Holdings (Ireland) Limited (eir), the largest Irish telecoms operator, to remain unchanged at 'B+'/Stable if Iliad/NJJ Telecom take a combined majority stake in the company. The anticipated change in shareholders by itself does not drive our ratings. We do not expect a material shift in eir's operational priorities despite the expected change in shareholders. We believe eir will continue to invest in its converged network. Management transition should be smooth with the current eir CEO remaining in place until the transaction successfully completes in 1H18, subject to regulatory approvals. We expect that the capital structure will remain in place if the transaction closes, given that the current debt documentation includes change of control language permitting portability. There is also early redemption of the bonds at 101 in the event of change of control. Xavier Niel's private investment vehicle, NJJ Telecom Europe, and Iliad announced that it has agreed to acquire a majority ownership stake in eir of 32.9% and 31.6%, respectively. Iliad will receive a call option exercisable in 2024 from NJJ to acquire 80% of NJJ's stake in eir. Existing majority shareholders Anchorage Capital Group and Davidson Kempner have agreed to retain a minority shareholding with a 35.5% equity stake. The new shareholders have said they have fully committed funding to complete the transaction Contact: Damien Chew, CFA Senior Director +44 20 3530 1424 Rachel Chin Associate Director +44 20 3530 1629 Media Relations: Adrian Simpson, London, Tel: +44 203 530 1010, Email: adrian.simpson@fitchratings.com. Additional information is available on www.fitchratings.com ALL FITCH CREDIT RATINGS ARE SUBJECT TO CERTAIN LIMITATIONS AND DISCLAIMERS. PLEASE READ THESE LIMITATIONS AND DISCLAIMERS BY FOLLOWING THIS LINK: here. IN ADDITION, RATING DEFINITIONS AND THE TERMS OF USE OF SUCH RATINGS ARE AVAILABLE ON THE AGENCY'S PUBLIC WEB SITE AT WWW.FITCHRATINGS.COM. PUBLISHED RATINGS, CRITERIA, AND METHODOLOGIES ARE AVAILABLE FROM THIS SITE AT ALL TIMES. FITCH'S CODE OF CONDUCT, CONFIDENTIALITY, CONFLICTS OF INTEREST, AFFILIATE FIREWALL, COMPLIANCE, AND OTHER RELEVANT POLICIES AND PROCEDURES ARE ALSO AVAILABLE FROM THE CODE OF CONDUCT SECTION OF THIS SITE. DIRECTORS AND SHAREHOLDERS RELEVANT INTERESTS ARE AVAILABLE here. FITCH MAY HAVE PROVIDED ANOTHER PERMISSIBLE SERVICE TO THE RATED ENTITY OR ITS RELATED THIRD PARTIES. DETAILS OF THIS SERVICE FOR RATINGS FOR WHICH THE LEAD ANALYST IS BASED IN AN EU-REGISTERED ENTITY CAN BE FOUND ON THE ENTITY SUMMARY PAGE FOR THIS ISSUER ON THE FITCH WEBSITE.

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