By John Mulligan, Irish Independent

A Luxembourg company controlled by a wealthy French-Lebanese family has paid $82m (€73m) for a major stake in Irish firm Hibernia NGS, which owns a fibre optic cable that links Ireland, North America and the UK, the Irish Independent has learned.

Investors in the Luxembourg firm, which is called Murosa Development, include Annabel Karim Kassar, a renowned France-born international architect and designer, and her husband Radwan, who's involved in the oil equipment business. They own 42.5pc of Murosa between them.

Their son, Nael, owns 10pc and is now a director of Hibernia NGS, while another relative Kamal Karim Kassar owns 5pc. They have strong ties with Beirut.

Frenchman Jean-Francois Clin owns 42.5pc of Murosa. He has been involved in previous ventures with Radwan Karim Kassar.

The deal that has seen the investors take majority control of the Irish firm has been in progress since last year and involved three stages, including an initial phase last year that saw Murosa pay $60m (€53m) for its initial stake in Hibernia NGS.

It has now paid an additional $22m (€20m) to increase that holding.

It's understood that Murosa now owns 51pc of Hibernia NGS, with US firm Columbia Ventures Corporation (CVC) owning the remainder. However, a connected CVC company now also has a stake in Murosa, it's believed.

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