I propose to take Questions Nos. 83, 91, 134, 141 and 143 together.
The contract for the National Broadband Plan (NBP) State led intervention, which was signed with National Broadband Ireland (NBI) in November 2019, is a comprehensive and detailed document. To protect the State investment and ensure that the NBP milestones and deliverables are met, the contract has been designed to include extensive protections, quality checks, reporting and monitoring obligations.
Of the €2.7 billion capped maximum exchequer subsidy committed to the National Broadband Plan, €2.1 billion relates to base subsidy, €0.48 billion is for contingencies and over €0.1 billion refers to VAT. This subsidy has been committed over a 25 year period. Total funds of €223m, including working capital, have been committed by the consortium to the NBP in accordance with the requirements of the contract.
The investors are providing funding through the purchase of shares in NBI and the provision of shareholder loans. I am advised that utilising both instruments is a standard form of investment in infrastructure companies and reference to both as being “equity investments” is common practice.
The initial drawdown of committed shareholder funds by NBI was €100 million in January 2020. This was drawn down before the release of any subsidy by the State. I am advised that no shareholder distributions have been made to date. I am also advised that a further drawdown of investor funds of €20m will be made in the coming weeks and that the full amount of committed equity of €175m is covered by guarantees.
As of November 2021, €167.8m of subsidy had been claimed by NBI which equates to approximately 6% of the maximum State Subsidy. At that same point, 45% of investor funds had been drawn down.
I am advised that the level of funding committed and the manner in which it has been committed is in accordance with the contract.
On the matter of ownership, Metallah Limited is the 100% owner of the shares in the capital of NBI - save for the special share of the Minister which does not provide ownership rights. Granahan McCourt Dublin Limited is the 100% owner of the shares in the capital of Metallah Limited and is owned 50.9% by Granahan McCourt Fund Limited (a David McCourt controlled company) and 49.1% by Tel-IE Broadband Sari, an entity managed and controlled by Oak Hill Advisors. The ownership structure remains as it was at contract signing and contract effective date.