Hutchison €2B bid for Eircom torpedoed

Ireland's High Court has dismissed Hutchison Whampoa's attempt to stop the financial restructuring of the bankrupt Eircom after the judge ruled there were numerous shortcomings in Hutchison's bid for the Irish telecoms operator.

Hutchison, which had bid €2 billion for Eircom, lost its legal challenge that argued its offer had not been given due consideration, according to Dow Jones Newswire.

However, a report carried by Bloomberg claimed that Hutchison's bid for Eircom was rejected by the appointed bankruptcy official partly because it would have doubled the losses incurred by the phone company's most-senior lenders.

Rachel Channing, a Dublin-based spokeswoman at Hutchison's Three business, said the company was disappointed with the court's ruling, but noted: "Three's parent company, Hutchison Whampoa, an experienced telecoms operator, had committed to provide the stability and ongoing investment that is necessary for the Eircom business to recover."

This legal attempt by Hutchison to have its bid reviewed came after the accountancy firm handling the Irish telecom company's bankruptcy proceedings rejected the €2 billion offer in favour of giving control of Eircom to senior debt holders that are owed €2.7 billion, according to Dow Jones Newswire.

This move by the Irish court is a setback for Hutchison's wider telecoms ambitions. The company has a long-held strategy to expand its European footprint helped by the €8 billion cash currently carried on the company's balance sheet.

For more:
- see this Dow Jones Newswire article
- see this Bloomberg article
- see this Reuters article

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