Broadband plan bidder putting less than €200m into project

Seen & Heard: Anglo investigation costs rise to €2.4m; Stobart to appoint new chairman

Speaking on Clare FM, Minister Michael Creed said the chosen bidder for the national broadband plan is putting less than €200m in equity into the project. Photograph: Tom Honan

Speaking on Clare FM, Minister Michael Creed said the chosen bidder for the national broadband plan is putting less than €200m in equity into the project. Photograph: Tom Honan

 

The chosen bidder for the national broadband plan is putting less than €200 million in equity into the project, the Sunday Times says, reporting on an interview with Michael Creed on Clare FM. Granahan McCourt won the bid for the plan, set to cost about €5 billion, which will deliver broadband to rural Ireland. In the same newspaper it is reported that the Government was advised to consider a “plan Z” which would have cost less than €100 million and supplied broadband to 900 “strategic community points”.

On the same topic, the Sunday Independent reports that Taoiseach Leo Varadkar’s €3 billion tax cut election pledge is in doubt due to the cost of the broadband plan. It adds that €23.6 million was spent by the State on consulting companies in connection with the plan.

The story is also on the front page of the Sunday Business Post, which reports that private companies including Eir and Imagine are likely to further reduce the number of homes to be connected under the State’s plan. It says that Eir has already provided high-speed broadband to 35,000 of the 542,000 homes in the intervention area.

Meanwhile, the State’s aviation regulator has questioned whether a €40 million dividend payment from airport operator DAA to the government is prudent, according to the Sunday Independent. It said that investment by DAA is greatly adding to the value of the company, which benefits the State, and it therefore wondered whether the annual dividend payment makes sense.

Costs associated with disciplinary investigations into Anglo Irish Bank’s former senior management and auditors has risen to almost €2.4 million and may rise further, according to a report in the Sunday Times. Chartered Accountants Ireland set aside an additional €614,000 last year which accounts for the rise. The body is studying evidence that emerged during the criminal trials of three former executives of the bank.

A silverware collection worth about €2.3 million was gifted to the State last year by a mystery donor, according to the Sunday Business Post. One of the largest collections ever gifted, the Frisby Irish Silverware collection was one of two heritage items donated last year, the paper reports.

Stobart Group, the company behind the Aer Lingus regional contract, is on the cusp of appointing a new chairman in a move designed to end a boardroom feud, the Sunday Telegraph reports. The company will pick David Shearer, known as Mr Fix It, to repair fraying relations between Stobart’s investor base.

The same UK newspaper reports that Unilever, which owns brands including Knorr, Dove and Hellmann’s, is considering a $1 billion bid for American skincare company Drunk Elephant as it seeks to widen its range of beauty products.