Motorola acquires remaining stake in Tetra Ireland

Company takes full ownership of provider of secure comms for emergency services

Motorola has taken full ownership of wireless network Tetra Ireland after an agreement by Eir to sell its majority stake to another buyer collapsed.

Tetra is a provider of secure communications to the Garda and other emergency services.

Eir had signed a conditional sale and purchase agreement in January to sell its 56 per cent in Tetra to London-listed investment trust Digital 9 in a €76 million deal.

Digital 9, which is also the owner of Aqua Comms, a Dublin-headquartered company that operates a sub-sea transatlantic fibre-optic cable that links the US to Europe via the Republic, said at that point it intended to take full ownership of Tetra for a total consideration of €136 million.

However, the deal was terminated after Motorola, which had a 19 per cent stake in Tetra, exercised its pre-emption rights to acquire Eir's stake, and that of Sigma Networks, which was the other shareholder in the company with a 25 per cent shareholding.

Motorola said it now owns 100 per cent of Tetra, but did not disclose how much it has paid to acquire the stakes it didn’t already own.

Tetra was commissioned to develop a purpose-build standalone digital radio network for use by emergency services and non-commercial public bodies after winning a State-held competitive tender in 2006.

Public bodies

Approximately 97 per cent of Tetra’s customer base is made up of public bodies – comprising around 70 agencies with some 24,000 active subscribers.

Tetra’s network provides a greater level of security, resilience and redundancy than services offered by commercial mobile operators. Tetra’s platform promises 98 per cent coverage, including offshore, mountainous regions and other remote locations, including for the State’s numerous islands.

"As a trusted technology partner in Ireland for over 40 years, we look forward to continuing to provide the interoperable mission-critical communications that Ireland's emergency and public service agencies rely on every day," said Greg Brown, chairman and chief executive of Motorala Solutions.

Users of the network include An Garda Síochána, the National Ambulance Service, Dublin Fire Brigade, Irish Coast Guard, the National Parks and Wildlife Service, the Irish Prison Service, Eirgrid, the Irish Naval Service, Inland Fisheries Ireland, the Office of Public Works (OPW), Irish Water, and ESB Networks.

Charlie Taylor

Charlie Taylor

Charlie Taylor is a former Irish Times business journalist

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