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Dublin: 13 °C Monday 20 October, 2014

Digicel plans €500m investment as Denis O’Brien targets ‘massive push’ in 2014

In an interview with the Financial Times, O’Brien said that an expected $650m dividend from the company to him “hasn’t been paid yet”.

Image: AP Photo/Mark Lennihan

DENIS O’BRIEN’S DIGICEL is to launch a “massive push” for greater market share and more products this year and will invest €500 million in its network.

In an interview with the Financial Times (subscription required), the telecoms billionaire said that 2014 will see “great opportunities to go for more market share and new products”.

O’Brien also confirmed that the Caribbean and Central American based provider which will not be entering Europe, a market he described as being hurt by “failed policy”.

The Financial Times report that Digicel is expected to pay a $650m dividend to O’Brien but that O’Brien told them that it “hasn’t been paid yet”.

O’Brien founded Digicel in 2001 and the provider now operates in 31 markets and is estimated to have over 13 million customers. O’Brien took full control of Digicel in 2007 and the company’s profits topped $1 billion for the first time in 2012.

As well as its significant share in the Caribbean and Central American mobile markets, Digicel also has operations in the Pacific Islands and has targeted expansion in Asia.

The company suffered a setback in this plan last year, when it was part of a consortium that failed in its bid to win one of two national mobile phone licences in Myanmar.

O’Brien is also the founder and owner of media company Communicorp and is the largest shareholder in Independent News & Media.

Read: Denis O’Brien wins High Court case, will not have to pay €57m tax bill >

Read: Denis O’Brien’s company fails to win Myanmar phone licence >

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