Has Digicel tricked Christie Dem and walked into the front doors of Cable Bahamas?

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Digicel top man is now in charge at NewCo and the Administration didn’t see the play!

Digicel's Damian Blackburn and Franklyn Butler
Digicel’s Damian Blackburn and Franklyn Butler

Nassau, Bahamas – Last year after the Christie Government made it clear that it wanted no new mobile company that had the mentality of a hog in the bidding process, and thus, Digicel backed out of the bidding process.

Digicel’s decision to back out of the process was voluntary, the task force noted, but the group has not yet offered an explanation for the surprise move. The group has been eager to enter the market for several years; having begun talks with the government in 2012, and was widely considered the favourite to win the licence.

We at Bahamas Press shared on Feb. 18th, 2015 what Prime Minister Christie set as the standard for a new mobile company.

The Prime Minister then noted the following, that the company selected must “be committed to having the widest base of Bahamians participating in the ownership of the new company.

“The requirement for there to be broad Bahamian ownership of the new company, Mr. Speaker, is yet another testament of my Government’s commitment to ensuring that ALL Bahamians benefit from the economic fruits of the country and not just a select and privileged few.”

What Mr. Christie foreshadowed was that he wanted a new group that would present new fresh talent in the Bahamas, representing new investment by Bahamians to expand and grow the sector.

Only your investigative page Bahamas Press exposed how a Digicel involvement in mobile makes certain that Denis O’Brien, Digicel Group’s Founder and Chairman retains 94% ownership of the monolithic company – he takes home ALL THE DAMN MONEY FOR HIMSELF!!!

We shared how according to Irish Times, who gained possession of Digicel Group financial records late last year, the company’s revenues for the 2014 fiscal year were flat in the first quarter, at $678 million while the company’s cash balance dwindled to $768 million – a 30% decrease from the same period in 2013. Additionally, the group’s long-term debt widened to $5.8 billion from $5.4 billion at the end of June.

Nonetheless, the company’s dividend for the quarter was the same as the year before at $10 million with Mr. O’Brien, the near sole shareholder, receiving virtually all.

Bahamas Press is once again warning the Christie Government that they have not done their homework on NewCo, the CBL subsidiary which last week was granted approval by URCA for a mobile licence – and – guess what we at BP have discovered?

Before the ink could dry on the licence, Cable Bahamas’ NewCo Chairman was seen welcoming Damian Blackburn to the Bahamas who we know is a top DIGICEL Executive. He served key roles at Digicel as Regional CEO of the Eastern, Northern and Dutch Caribbean markets and as CEO of Digicel’s largest market in Haiti and its operation in Honduras and as Group Business Development Director led Digicel’s entry into the Cable TV market across multiple markets.

We at Bahamas Press have done our homework and we have more to share. And now that we see Digicel is walking into the front door of Cable Bahamas, despite all that Mr. Christie said he wanted with the new mobile licence holder, one thing is certain – Bahamas Press knows more about what is happening at NewCO than anyone in the Cabinet of the Bahamas!

Stay Tuned!

We report yinner decide!