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French cableco front runner to buy NTL Ireland

Esat BT rebrands too

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UnitedGlobalCom (UGC) is looking favourite to snap up the Irish operation of UK cableco NTL, according to a report by the Irish Times.

Last month NTL said it was "evaluating strategic alternatives for our business in the Republic of Ireland, which may include a divestiture" and reported that "considerable interest" had already been expressed by prospective buyers.

Now, French cable outfit UGC is being talked about as a potential front runner for the €320m acquisition of NTL's Irish operation.

NTL Ireland offers digital and analogue cable TV to homes in Dublin, Waterford and Galway and broadband in parts of Dublin.

Elsewhere, BT's telecoms business in Ireland - Esat BT - is to get a makeover. It's now called BT Ireland "sending out a clear strategic message that the company will capitalise fully on the global strengths and unparalleled expertise of its parent, BT Group plc".

Said BT Ireland boss Bill Murphy in a statement: "Our transition to BT Ireland signifies our intention to continue competing vigorously across Ireland and around the world and raise the standard of products and services available to both corporate customers and consumers, enabling Ireland to better compete on a global stage."

Urghhh, pass the bucket. ®

Related stories

NTL may chop off Irish arm for 200m
Broadband boost helps NTL trim losses
Ireland one of most expensive countries for broadband

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