Belfast Telegraph

Three Ireland announces job cuts

One of the country's leading phone and telecoms operators has announced 160 job cuts on the back of its acquisition of a major rival.

Three Ireland is seeking the redundancies after taking over O2 Ireland in a 780 million euro deal which it had previously warned would lead to a duplication of roles in some areas of the business.

About 85 jobs will go in head office and another 75 in the retail division.

Despite the redundancies, Three Ireland said 90 customer care staff will be taken on over the next 12 months taking its total workforce in the Limerick call centre to 440.

Robert Finnegan, Three Ireland chief executive, said the job losses were about redirecting resources.

"We had signalled that integrating two businesses would inevitably result in some duplication of roles, and whereas we can't side-step that challenge, we can and will ensure that departing staff are treated fairly and generously," he said.

Three also pointed to its planned 300 million euro investment in a high speed network which will employ 100 workers through third party contractors over the next three years.

The company said it was offering a generous redundancy package of six weeks ex-gratia payment plus two weeks statutory pay per year of service.

Three Ireland bought O2 Ireland for 780m euro in a deal approved by the European Commission in May and legally completed in July. Another 70m euro is payable depending on financial targets being met.

The acquisition of O2 takes Three Ireland's market share to 37% and creates one of the country's leading telecoms companies with two million active users.

The two businesses had combined revenues of 736m euro in 2013, which compares to Three's revenue of 180m euro in 2013 on a standalone basis, the company said.

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