Esat’s stratospheric rise to riches

In 1996, Esat Telecom was struggling, but investors were lining up as soon as the telecoms firm secured Ireland’s second mobile phone licence

26th March, 2011

Winning Ireland’s second mobile phone licence in 1996 turned around the fortunes of Denis O’Brien’s Esat Telecom. In less than five years, the firm went from struggling financially to being sold for IR£1.9 billion (€2.4 billion).

Founded in 1991, Esat Telecom had been taking on the state company Telecom Eireann in the fixed line phone market when O’Brien recognised the potential of the mobile licence and decided to submit...

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