Declan Ganley to sue Mexico over $7bn mobile network bid

Businessman alleges ‘stitch up’ involving hijackers over Rivada Networks bid

Declan Ganley says he will sue the Mexican state after he alleged his Rivada Networks company is being squeezed out of the bidding process for a $7bn network contract in the Latin American country.

Declan Ganley says he will sue the Mexican state after he alleged his Rivada Networks company is being squeezed out of the bidding process for a $7bn network contract in the Latin American country.

 

Galway businessman Declan Ganley is suing the Mexican state over allegations his Rivada Networks company has been “stitched up” by being squeezed out of a bidding process to build a $7 billion mobile network for the state.

Mr Ganley alleges a mystery hijacker on a motorcycle attempted to steal his consortium’s bidding documents for the Red Compartida mobile network project, as they were being delivered to authorities in Mexico city on October 17th ahead of a submission deadline.

He alleges the motorcyclist took the “bid boxes” from one of his staff members and passed them to a waiting car, before both “disappeared into the traffic”. Nobody was harmed during the alleged hijacking.

Mr Ganley said the “bid boxes” stolen were empty for security reasons, however, and that his bid was delivered separately and on time.

“I’m conscious of security in these sort of situations – I did business in Russia when I was in my 20s,” he said.

Mexican authorities, via its Secretariat of Communications and Transportation (SCT), are refusing to consider the bid that Rivada submitted because, they say, it did not contain a “letter of credit” for 1 billion pesos ($52.5 million).

Mr Ganley insists he submitted the necessary documentation and says he provided a letter of credit backed with a cash lodgment of 1 billion pesos to a bank in Mexico. The Irish Times has seen a copy of this letter.

Mr Ganley says Rivada will file a lawsuit against the Mexican state before Monday to get readmitted to the bidding process, the outcome of which he claims is being manipulated in favour of his bidding rivals.

“All we want is a fair shake,” he told The Irish Times. “We want our bid evaluated and we want a fair competition. The Mexican people deserve it.”

Red Compartida is a propect to build a new 4G wholesale network to lessen the influence of multibillionaire Carlos Slim on Mexico’s mobile market. The new network would be open to all operators except Mr Slim’s America Movil.

Rivada’s rival bidder for the project – the Altan consortium comprising Mexican companies Megacable and Axtel – is currently the only bid being assessed, the SCT said on Friday.

Gerardo Flores, a Mexican Green Party senator, contacted Mr Ganley on Friday to say he would deman an explanation from the SCT over the allegations. The SCT did not respond to a request for comment. Altan did not comment.