Is O’Brien ready to rumble with Carlos Slim?
Denis O’Brien: Digicel bid in Dominican Republic
We all know the future is bright for the billionaire Denis O’Brien, but is it Orange? His Caribbean-based telco Digicel appears to limbering up for a €1 billion crack at Orange in the Dominican Republic, with bids due in today. His biggest rival appears to be Cable & Wireless, Digicel’s enemy in several markets.
The most delicious aspect should there be a successful Digicel bid would be watching O’Brien climb into the ring with the Mexican telecoms magnate Carlos Slim, who owns the incumbent telco in the Dominican Republic.
O’Brien isn’t short of a few bob, but Slim is the world’s richest man. The last time they squared up, Slim suddenly popped up on IN&M’s shareholder register at the height of O’Brien’s scrap with Tony O’Reilly, which many viewed as a warning by the Mexican to the Irishman.
O’Brien doesn’t seem too bothered about the prospect of another ding-dong, telling Bloomberg this week: “People always think that if a company is wealthy, it’s going to kill you. We would never have gone to any of our markets if we’d had that attitude.”