O'Brien licenses Digicel name
THE DOCUMENT detailing Digicel’s $1.5 billion bond offering contains a number of nuggets of information about the business and its relationship with co-founder and chairman Denis O’Brien.
For example, O’Brien owns the rights to the Digicel brand name outside north, south and central America and the Caribbean.
Digicel Group Ltd has entered into a “co-existence agreement” with a company controlled by O’Brien (Digicel Holdings BV, which is incorporated in the Netherlands) in relation to the use of the brand.
The Irish entrepreneur effectively licenses the name to DGL for use in its markets in the south Pacific.
“The restrictions imposed by this agreement may adversely affect our ability to use our brand and compete effectively,” the document states.
“In addition, Mr O’Brien could use the Digicel brand name in a manner that adversely affects our reputation.”
It’s a neat move by O’Brien, who could, potentially, flip the existing Digicel business, of which he owns 94 per cent, and start over in maybe Africa or Asia, or even parts of Europe.
Or he could set up a separate entity to operate in parallel to the existing business in one of those regions.
This isn’t as fanciful as it might sound.
O’Brien did look at Eircom when it was on the blocks but decided against tabling a bid as he thought it was a basket case.
He has been linked with taking Digicel into certain African markets, although nothing has happened to date.
Separately, whoever drafted the document needs to update PJ Mara’s director profile.
Among other things, Mara, who has served on the board of Digicel since December 2003, is described as “having chaired the election campaign of the current governing political party in Ireland since 1987”.
The author clearly hasn’t been notified of Fianna Fáil’s electoral demise.