Dixons Car­phone ex­pect­ing ‘quick’ sale of iD – but not to an Ir­ish mo­bile oper­a­tor

Irish Independent - Business Week - - BUSINESSWEEK - Adrian Weck­ler

DIXONS Car­phone is ex­pect­ing a sale of mo­bile oper­a­tor iD to be in place over the next eight weeks, but it is un­likely to be ac­quired by an Ir­ish ri­val, sources in the com­pany say.

The one-year-old net­work, which has al­most 30,000 cus­tomers in Ire­land, is un­der­stood to be en­gaged with sev­eral bid- ders in­clud­ing pri­vate-eq­uity op­er­a­tions and in­ter­na­tional op­er­a­tors con­sid­er­ing a move into the Ir­ish mar­ket.

Dixons Car­phone has in­vested €20m in the iD net­work to date with rel­a­tively mi­nor suc­cess.

It has around 0.5pc of the Ir­ish mo­bile mar­ket, well be­hind its own tar­gets.

The net­work is un­likely to be sold to a ri­val op­er­at­ing in the Ir­ish mar­ket, the com­pany sources say.

Dixons Car­phone ac­quired the li­cence when 3 Ire­land was obliged by the Euro­pean Com­mis­sion to set up and of­fer two ‘vir­tual’ mo­bile li­cences in Ire­land as a con­di­tion to its own ac­qui­si­tion of O2 Ire­land. This makes a sale to an­other Ir­ish oper­a­tor “a no go” as it would re­duce the number of op­er­a­tors in the Ir­ish mar­ket, some­thing the Ir­ish tele­coms watch­dog Com­reg and the Euro­pean Com­mis­sion have said should not hap­pen in Ire­land.

Dixons Car­phone is likely to em­pha­sise its own store-based dis­tri­bu­tion net­work in the terms of any deal, com­pany sources say. It has 112 outlets through­out Ire­land.

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