Denis O’Brien and his lovely loyal lass, Martina Devlin

Ahhhh….Denis O’Brien journalist Martina Devlin has a lovely piece about Denis O’Brien in Denis O’Brien’s newspaper today.

‘Intriguing’ is how lovely Martina describes her boss’s decision to call off the floatation of his mobile operator Digicel. But that’s the amoral market for ye says the loyal Martina, that’s the Capitalist system for ya, it only cares for the bottom line – money.

Denis, of course, is not interested in the market or profit, not at all. Here’s how lovely Martina describes her boss’s pitch on the market:

He wasn’t just trading in the common currency of facts and figures; there was plain speaking, the occasional flash of self-deprecation, and several Irishisms including “we have spent a savage amount of money on our networks”.

You could see how Mr O’Brien charms people, and why he’d be in demand as an after-dinner speaker if his business empire failed.

Ahhh….isn’t he lovely all the same?

Now in fairness to the lovely Martina, she did make some criticism of her boss regarding his offer to potential shareholders.

Despite the company running at a loss with massive debts of $6.5 billion Denis was intending to:

Retain 61% equity stake in the company and 94% control. Ordinary investors were being offered A shares but he held on to B shares with 10 times the voting rights of every A share. He’d have the right to decide which directors were appointed to the board, and have control over decisions such as mergers and acquisitions, sale of assets, salaries, dividend payments, and the entire direction of the company.

Sounds like an Irish Water type deal to me.

Anyway, the lovely Martina very bravely, or perhaps foolishly, suggested that such power in the hands of one man might not rest easy with best practice.

Careful there now Martina…as Fr. Ted might say. You could lose your job or even end up in court. No….really, he will sue you, even if you are a lovely loyal lass.

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The lovely Martina