FORMER Virgin Media finance chief Eamonn O’Hare has launched ambitious plans to float a new acquisition vehicle on AIM, the London Stock Exchange’s junior market, which will buy, turn around and sell assets in Europe’s telecoms market.
O’Hare, Virgin Media‘s former chief financial officer and a past finance director at Tesco, is setting up Zegona to acquire struggling European telecoms, media and technology businesses with enterprise values of £1bn to £3bn.
Zegona is seeking to raise an initial £30m through an IPO on AIM and said it expects to receive “strong backing” from major institutional investors, with significant additional capital expected to be raised at the time of target acquisition.
Along with former Virgin colleague Robert Samuelson, O’Hare is hoping to capitalise on the fallout from the wave of mergers and acquisitions in the European telco market by targeting poorly performing companies that are undervalued and picking up assets that the newly-merged telcos will need to dispose.
O’Hare, who led the turnaround Energis Communications and helped deliver Virgin Media’s $24bn (£15bn) sale to Liberty Global, also believes that, along with convergence of services and consolidation of operators, changes in the way people consume content will “create multiple investment opportunities and the potential to realise attractive returns” from Zegona’s ‘Buy-Fix-Sell’ strategy.
“Investments will target strategically sound businesses that require active change to realise full value, creating significant long-term returns through fundamental business improvements,” the company said in a statement.