An Irish woman's social, political and domestic commentary
Tuesday, January 27, 2004  

More Moriarty Allegations

Allegation No. 2
Communicorp, DOB's holding company did not have sufficient funds to back a mobile phone company. Given this financial weakness they should never have been awarded the licence.

The Truth

Communicorp couldn't really afford its share of the funds at the time. Their share of the bid was underwritten but there were weaknesses. But everyone knew that once the licence was awarded the money would come rolling in. I witnessed this personally when the day after the licence winner was announced, Denis picked up a congratulatory fax from a financial institution offering an opportunity to discuss funding. Before scrunching it up and firing it in the bin he said "these f***ers wouldn't take our calls last week". To that extent the money didn't really matter. Whoever won the licence would have no problem getting funding. This state of affairs was recognised by Andersen Management who assessed the bids; (source)

“The evaluators have concluded having regard to the level of interest in the Irish competition for the GSM licence and the high profitability of mobile communications generally throughout Europe that the project is fundamental!y robust and, after a licence has been awarded, an attractive opportunity for corporate debt financiers, The evaluators have therefore formed the view that, subject to at least one of 'the principals having sufficient financial strength at this stage to ensure completion of the project, a potential financial weakness of one consortia member should not have a negative impact on the ranking of applications. It is important, nevertheless, to draw attention to the need to deal with this factor where relevant in the context of licence negotiations "

AMI further state in their submission to the Tribunal (this document being on the Tribunal website but strangely never sourced by journalists reporting the issue)

"In AMI's opinion the evaluation result nominating Esat Digifone as the winner thus was and is the right result"

and further

"The quality and consistency of ESAT Digifone’s application with regard to the extent and content of the information provided is among the absolute [my emphasis] best that AMI have seen during the many evaluations that AMI at that time and since then has participated in."

Now these are the quotes from the bid assessor Michael Andersen. He has backed up all this in private sessions with the Tribunal but refuses to appear as a witness because:

- The Tribunal behaved so aggressively with him in private he does not want to expose himself to that aggression in public (it being in the Tribunal's interest to find fault with him). The Tribunal want to assess the assessor.
- Telenor now own his management company with whom he no longer works and hold a lot of the documentation and surprise surprise don't want to help him out
- He is well aware that Persona, the second ranked bidder have two reps at the Tribunal and have a long list of people to sue and without an indemnity from the state he would be stone mad to appear.

However the Tribunal, taking as one journo has said a Mastermind approach to the investigation (I've started so I'll finish) are free to pursue their agenda. I still have a gripe with journalists who consistently refuse to refer to documents like those above when constructing their various conspiracy theories.

posted by Sarah | 22:08 0 comments
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