Crunch Time for Tycoon as Digicel Bond Clouds Loom

When Denis O’Brien sold out of Ireland’s biggest newspaper group in 2019, the billionaire drew a line under an investment that had cost him more than €450m. Now the country’s richest man faces crunch time again as Digicel, the Jamaica-based mobile phone company he launched in 2001, struggles to refinance the company in the face of its $6.7bn debt, the Financial Times reported. The company was once a cash cow for Mr O’Brien. Between 2012 and 2014 he received dividends totalling $1.1bn from Digicel, which operates in 31 markets, mostly in the Caribbean and also in Central America and the Pacific islands. “It’s been a good piggy bank,” said one senior Dublin financier who has tracked Mr O’Brien’s business affairs for years. “But those days are now well and truly over.” Read more

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