O'Brien to get J$69b dividend

Published: Friday | December 27, 2013 Comments 0
Chairman of the Digicel Group, Denis O'Brien. - File
Chairman of the Digicel Group, Denis O'Brien. - File

Denis O'Brien, the billionaire owner of international mobile telecommunications company, the Digicel Group, is to receive a special dividend of US$650 million (J$69 billion) according to a British newspaper.

The Sunday Times of London reported on December 15 that O'Brien would be receiving the dividend within the next six months.

The report said "O'Brien last tapped Digicel in June 2012 when he received US$300 million (J$32 billion). The dividend will bring his Digicel income to US$1.8 billion (J$191 billion) since 2008."

Digicel Jamaica declined comment on the issue when contacted by the Financial Gleaner.

"Thank you for your queries, but we have no comment to make," said Antonia Graham, spokesman for the Digicel Group. Efforts to reach O'Brien were unsuccessful up to press time.

The story comes just days after Digicel announced its intention to launch a private placement of US$500 million (J$51.4 billion) of 8.25 per cent senior notes due 2020.

second-richest person

Fitch ratings agency has given a B-/RR5 rating to the proposed senior notes. According to the Fitch website, an RR5 rating represents a "below-average recovery prospects given default". It says that RR5-rated securities have "characteristics consistent with securities historically recovering 11 per cent to 30 per cent of current principal and related interest".

The $650 million will contribute to O'Brien's already large fortune. The Gleaner reported in March this year that O'Brien was worth US$5.2 billion (J$552 billion) and is the second-richest person in Ireland.

He sits at number 233 on the Forbes list of billionaires. He is topped in Ireland by construction magnate Pallonji Mistry, whose net worth totals US$10.5 billion (J$1.1 trillion).

richard.browne@gleanerjm.com

 

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