Ireland's Eircom telecoms to cut 2,000 staff

DUBLIN, IRELAND: Ireland's former state telephone company Eircom is to cut 2,000 jobs over the next 18 months, the company said on Wednesday.
The telecommunications firm, which was privatised in 1999, employs 5,700 employees in Ireland.

In June it emerged from court-supervised protection after a US investment firm wiped out 40% of its €3.7bn (US$4.79bn) debts.

The company, which is rolling out a new broadband Internet network to one million premises in Ireland, said the job losses would improve efficiency and reduce costs.

Herb Hribar, Eircom Group chief executive officer, said the challenges facing the company were significant.

"The programme is ambitious but the challenges are not insurmountable. The business strategy remains sound and our strategic investment continues," he said in a statement.

The investment deal in June stripped shareholders of their ownership. Eircom, then known as Telecom Eireann, was privatised by Dublin in 1999 with the company valued at €8.4bn (US$10.89bn).

Thousands of small shareholders were burned just two years later after the shares dropped by more than 30% and the company delisted.

The company later changed ownership several times and was refloated, but ran up debts that forced an examiner to be appointed last March.

Source: AFP via I-Net Bridge


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