Investment from Digiweb secures future of Smart and creates the leading independent Irish owned telecommunications company

Dublin, Ireland, 8 December, 2009 – Smart Telecom (“Smart”), an Irish provider of voice, data and media communications services, today announces that the Irish High Court (the “Court”) has approved a range of proposals which will enable Smart to exit the Examinership process as a viable member of the Digiweb Group. Smart will continue to provide telecommunications services to Irish residential, business and public sector customers. The effective date of the exit is Friday, 11 December 2009.

Smart entered the Examinership process on 31 August, 2009 in order to restructure its balance sheet and to secure a strategic investment.  The proposals approved by the Court include a restructuring of Smart’s balance sheet and the acquisition of the entire business and residential customer base and assets of Smart by Digiweb, the national telecommunications and managed services provider.

The transaction brings together two EBITDA positive businesses with annual revenue approaching €40 million and over 150 employees. The enlarged Digiweb Group becomes the leading, independent Irish telecommunications company and significantly enhances the scale and scope of the combined Digiweb-Smart service offering. Smart Telecom employees will move during December to Digiweb’s Blanchardstown head office.

Brendan Hunt, CFO, Smart Telecom said:

“We are delighted to have achieved this restructuring combined with an investment from Digiweb which has resulted in our successful exit from Examinership. Smart emerges with a substantially stronger balance sheet and operating profile. The business will be EBITDA positive and profitable and has no debt maturities for a number of years. The prospect of combining our existing business with Digiweb is exciting and we look forward to the opportunities this presents. We would like to thank all of our employees, suppliers and customers who have remained dedicated and supportive of the Company during this process.”

Colm Piercy, CEO, Digiweb:

“We welcome the Smart employees to our team and, together with them, look forward to extending our combined market leading services to a growing customer base across each of the residential, corporate and Government sectors of the market.”

He added:

“The combination of the Digiweb and Smart businesses makes the enlarged Digiweb Group a truly national telecommunications company, with the network, people and managed services capability to provide real choice in the Irish telecoms market. There are many advantages for our customers who will benefit from an increased range of telecoms, IT and hosting services, and a single solution provider for all their needs. We look forward to making an enhanced contribution to the competitive communications landscape in Ireland and to growing strongly together in business, consumer and public sector markets.”

Transaction Overview

  • The investment by Digiweb in Smart creates the leading independent Irish owned telecommunications company.
  • Consolidates the telecoms market creating a stronger service provider with a broader range of services for existing and prospective customers.
  • Combines Smart’s leading fibre, high speed DSL infrastructure and Next Generation IP network with Digiweb’s national wireless infrastructure and leading datacenter and hosting facilities.
  • Total subscriber base of 46,500 business, residential, corporate and government customers for broadband, data and telephony, along with over 48,000 webhosting, domain and data centre clients.
  • Digiweb and Smart’s multi-platform and wholly owned infrastructure uniquely positions the combined entity to provide digital communications services to 100% of the Irish business and consumer population.
  • Smart will form part of the Digiweb Group, will retain the ‘Smart’ brand and will continue to build on its position as a leading provider of voice, data and managed communications services in Ireland.