Business Irish

Saturday 20 October 2018

Buffett business partner to bankroll broadband bidder

The Irish-American businessman David McCourt will also invest money in the venture. Photo: Claire Wood.
The Irish-American businessman David McCourt will also invest money in the venture. Photo: Claire Wood.
Adrian Weckler

Adrian Weckler

Warren Buffett's business partner, Walter Scott, is to help bankroll the consortium aiming to win the Government's National Broadband Plan tender.

Members of the Nebraska-based billionaire's family were in Dublin this week for talks. It has also emerged that Oak Hill, the New York venture capital firm that sold its 47pc share in telecoms firm Enet last year, will also play a part in the consortium's financing.

The Irish-American businessman David McCourt, CEO of the consortium bid leader Granahan McCourt, will also invest money in the venture.

Mr McCourt recently agreed a deal to sell his company's remaining stake in Enet to the State-backed Irish Infrastructure Fund (IIF).

Details on financing were a key demand from the Government according to recently released documents from the Department of Communications.

The bidding consortium has recently courted controversy because of the withdrawal of the multibillion-pound UK energy giant, SSE, and the British specialist investment firm, John Laing.

The consortium is now led by Granahan McCourt with around 40 sub-contractors, including the KN Group and Denis O'Brien's Actavo, formerly Siteserv. It will still base a large part of its infrastructure on Enet's metropolitan area network rings, which serve 94 regional towns.

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