Eir sees earnings rise amid €350m bond sale

Moody’s estimates that sale will save Eir about €6m a year in interest costs

Eir is majority owned by two firms controlled by French billionaire Xavier Neil. Photograph: Alan Betson

Eir is majority owned by two firms controlled by French billionaire Xavier Neil. Photograph: Alan Betson

 

Eir has said its earnings rose slightly in the three months to the end of September as it sold €350 million of bonds in the market this week to refinance some of its current debt on more favourable rates.

The company, which is majority owned by two firms controlled by French billionaire Xavier Neil, said its earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (ebitda) increased by a “low single digit” percentage.

The new bonds, priced on Tuesday and set to mature in 2025, will carry an interest rate of 1.75 per cent and be used to pay down some of its €1.8 billion of term loans. Ratings agency Moody’s estimates that the manoeuvre will save Eir about €6 million a year in interest costs.

The move comes after Eir took on an additional €400 million of debt in April to fund a dividend to a holding company above the operating business. This was used to redeem a €400 million loan note issued to New York hedge funds Anchorage Capital and Davidson Kempner last year as they sold part of their stakes in the phone group.

French company NJJ and publicly quoted Iliad, both controlled by Mr Niel, took a combined 64.5 per cent stake in Eir early last year.