Digicel to buy French overseas territories business for undisclosed sum

Purchase of IDOM Technologies includes 265km of fibre optic network

Digicel is implementing a massive restructuring plan that involves eliminating a quarter of its workforce. Photograph: Reuters

Digicel is implementing a massive restructuring plan that involves eliminating a quarter of its workforce. Photograph: Reuters

 

Digicel, Denis O’Brien’s heavily-indebted mobile phone company, has agreed to buy an information and communications technology (ICT) business operating across French overseas territories in the West Indies and Indian Ocean.

The company did not disclose financial details relating to the transaction, which remains subject to regulatory approval.

The deal to acquire IDOM Technologies includes 265km of fibre-optic network across Martinique, Guadeloupe, French Guiana and La Reunion. The business being acquired provides ICT services to more than 800 business and public sector customers across a range of industries, including insurance, commerce, financial services, health and automotive, Digicel said in a statement.

“Business Solutions is one of the fastest growth areas across all of our markets and this acquisition of IDOM Technologies represents an excellent strategic fit for Digicel and also speaks directly to our intentions to grow and expand our presence in the burgeoning ICT solutions space,” said Colm Delves, chief executive of Digicel.

Restructuring

Digicel is in the middle of its biggest-ever restructuring plan, which includes the elimination of 1,500 jobs, or a quarter of its workforce, over the next 18 months to reboot flagging earnings and improve its debt profile. The company is in the process of raising more than $1 billion (€0.9 billion) of medium- to long-term debt to refinance loans that fall due between March 2018 and March 2019.

The group’s $6 billion (€5.5 billion)-plus debt level at the end of December stood at about six times earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation. It has vowed to debt investors that it will lower this ratio to 4.5 within the next two years.