Battle for Eircom intensifies

The e Island consortium led by entrepeneur Denis O'Brien has upped the ante with a revised bid worth E1.29 per Eircom share

The e Island consortium has increased its offer for the Irish telecom from E1.24 per share in the hope it can see off rivals Valentia, backed by Sir Anthony O'Reilly and George Soros.

The offer is a premium of 11 cents over yesterday's closing price of E1.18 and worth approximately E2.9bn. e Island claimed the revised bid was the 'best available to shareholders, in terms of both cash and the opportunity to participate in [Eircom's] future.'

Mr O'Brien commented that 'We have been told all along that the highest offer wins, and we are very, very pleased at the position we are in, and confident the decision will go in our favour.' e Island have also stated that Eircom's board should recommend the offer 'forthwith' as a duty to its shareholders'.

Eircom is seeking clarification on 'a number of issues' from both bidders according to a statement made after receiving the revised e Island bid. The statement neglects to mention the reported approach from Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co and Blackstone Communications.