Blackstone Said to Sell 25% of Eircom to Hedge Fund Anchorage

Anchorage Capital Group LLC, a New York-based hedge fund, bought most of Blackstone Group LP’s stake in Eircom Group amid the Irish phone company’s rejection of a multibillion-dollar buyout offer.

Blackstone sold a stake of about 25 percent in Dublin-based Eircom to Anchorage while retaining about 5 percent, said a person familiar with the situation, asking not to be identified because the information is private. Anchorage, which previously held about 8 percent, is now the biggest shareholder in the company, Paul Bradley, Eircom’s head of corporate affairs, said in a phone interview.

Eircom, which has gone through six ownership changes since 1999, has been pondering another shift in strategy since at least 2014 when it considered -- and then rejected -- a public stock offering. The company said May 19 that it had turned down a proposed offer of as much as 3.3 billion euros ($3.7 billion) from an unidentified “credible bidder” because it was too low.

The Irish Times reported Anchorage’s purchase of Blackstone’s stake earlier today. Tony Davis, a co-founder of Anchorage, didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment. A representative for Blackstone declined to comment.

Davis and Kevin Ulrich founded Anchorage in 2003 after previously holding senior debt-trading positions at Goldman Sachs Group Inc.