I regret there continues to be confusion on this issue.
The reply I gave to a written question on 19 December sets out the definitive position on ownership of the 20 per cent of Esat Digifone which appears to be contentious. It could not be any clearer. That reply states:
The Secretary of my Department announced on 19 April that the application by Esat Digifone for the GSM licence disclosed an intention to place 20 per cent of the equity with financial investors in the period leading up to the award of the licence. The application was supported by letters of intent from a number of highly reputable financial institutions. At the time of award of the licence some two months later, it was certified to my Department that the 20 per cent had been placed with IIU Nominees Ltd. which was wholly owned by Mr. Dermot Desmond.
The reference to the statement by the Secretary contained in the details supplied with today's question is not accurate. IIU Nominees is now, and was at the time of the award of the licence, the sole investor in the 20 per cent of the equity available to financial investors. The question of a list did not arise. Presumably the Deputy is referring to a number of potential investors for which the Department had given indicative approval at the time of the licence application.