Businessman Denis O'Brien's telecoms group Digicel will cut up to a quarter of its workforce over the next 18 months as part of a "transformation programme" announced by the company.

In a statement on its website Digicel said it was designing an organisation which would be "fit for purpose for 2030 and beyond".

Digicel has around 6,000 staff across 31 countries primarily in the Caribbean and Central America.

A plan to reorganise the group around a small number of regional hubs and to centralise back office functions will see the company cut around one in four jobs.

The statement said this would be done through a "voluntary separation programme" and would begin in March.

Digicel had planned an initial public offering (IPO) of shares in the company in 2015 through which it hoped to raise up to $2 billion.

The plan to list the company in the US was shelved, however, as investors were not prepared to meet the valuation Digicel expected. "Why would you sell your front garden when you know it's worth a lot of money and why would you sell at a discount?" Mr O'Brien said in an interview with CNBC at the time.

Digicel is carrying debt of over $6 billion. It has been dealing with falling revenues and currency depreciation in some of its biggest markets relative to the US dollar which makes its dollar denonminated debt more expensive to repay in local currency terms.

Alongside its announcement of a redundancy programme Digicel also said it was partnering with ZTE, a Chinese telecoms equipment company, on what it called a "multi year network upgrade programme".