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Thu 9 Jun 2016 02:08 PM

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Qatar fund said to buy major stake in Irish telco Eir

Qatar Investment Authority reportedly to acquire 15% stake of York Capital, Eir's second-largest shareholder

Qatar fund said to buy major stake in Irish telco Eir
Image for illustrative purpose only. (Getty Images)

Qatar's sovereign wealth fund is set to buy a major stake in Irish telecoms firm Eir, the Irish Times reported on Thursday.

The move would likely support its plans to hold off from a stock market flotation.

The Qatar Investment Authority (QIA) is on course to acquire York Capital, Eir's second-largest shareholder's stake of about 15 percent, in addition to a number of smaller shareholdings owned by other hedge funds, the newspaper said, without quoting any sources.

The Irish Times said it understood New York hedge fund Anchorage, which owns almost 38 percent of the company formerly known as Eircom, would remain the largest shareholder following the transaction.

Spokespeople for Eir and the QIA could not immediately be reached for comment.

Eir pulled out of what would have been a third initial public offering (IPO) of shares in 15 years in 2014 and its chief executive told Reuters in April it had no intention of intention of seeking an IPO in the short or medium term.

QIA, estimated by industry tracker Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute to hold $256 billion of assets, is known as an investor in high-profile European assets such as the Shard skyscraper and Harrods department store in London, as well as Credit Suisse and Volkswagen.

However, it is reducing its focus on investments in Europe according to an internal review that followed sharp falls in the prices of some of the European assets, sources familiar with the matter told Reuters last month.

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