Ganley firm bids for €100m Garda radio contract


Date: Sunday, June 25 @ 06:31:35 PDT
Topic: World Economy


    Rivada Networks, a firm owned by Galway entrepreneur Declan Ganley, is in the running to build a €100 million radio network for the Garda and emergency services.

    By Gavin Daly - Sunday Business Post
    Declan Ganley

    Rivada’s technology allows government bodies and emergency services to communicate securely across various networks.

    Informed sources said that the firm was one of five groups bidding for the ten-year contract to build and run the Irish managed digital radio service (MDRS).

    Telecoms firms Eircom, BT and O2 each head one of the other consortiums. The fourth group is Arqiva, a specialist group backed by Macquarie Bank in Australia. The groups have until August 1 to lodge tenders for the contract with the Department of Finance.

    Ganley told The Sunday Business Post earlier this year that Rivada had contracts with the Department of Defense, the Department of Homeland Security and individual states in the US. He would not comment on his investment in the firm, or its financial performance.

    The company is based near Ganley’s home at Moyne Park near Tuam in Galway and also has offices in the US. It has 50 staff, but also uses contract workers. Ganley said that Rivada’s technology had won plaudits in the US after it was used in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

    The directors of the firm include Admiral James Loy, the acting secretary for Homeland Security and Marine General Dennis McCarthy, the former head of US Marine Forces. John Kelly, who recently retired as president of defence firm Bell Textron, is also a director. Ganley’s early business ventures involved selling Russian aluminium and forestry in Latvia.

    After losing out to Denis O’Brien in a bid for the second mobile phone licence in Ireland, he set up a company called Broadnet with US firm Comcast, which later bought him out.

    He then built a cable company in Bulgaria and also has an interest in Capital Route, a pan-European chauffeur company. CNBC’s European Business magazine recently suggested that Ganley was worth €300 million and could be a billionaire in three years. The MDRS project is seen as significant and has attracted major bidders from Ireland and overseas. The Eircom consortium is called Tetra Ireland and includes Motorola and Sigma Wireless Communications, the Irish firm owned and run by entrepreneur Tony Boyle.

    The BT consortium is understood to include German electronics firm Siemens and a division of EADS, the parent company of Airbus. O2 is bidding with its Airwave subsidiary. The Arqiva consortium includes Lockheed Martin and Selex Communications, part of Finmeccanica.

    Pat Walls, general manager of Arqiva in Ireland, said his consortium was ‘‘in a strong position to take the lead’’.

    Arqiva already provides communications systems to ambulance, fire services and coast guard in Ireland and has built the network for the Metropolitan police in Britain. The firm has 45 staff in Ireland and Walls said it would hire up to 200more staff if its bid was successful.

    He said it would cost about €100 million to build a network that would run for ten years. It would be built in phases over 30 months, according to Walls.

    ‘‘We have spent the last two years really tracking this,” he said. ‘‘This is going to set the landscape for public safety for the next ten years. It will bring Ireland in line with our European counterparts - some have introduced the technology earlier, some are later, so we’re in the middle. “

    He would not comment on the financial performance of Arqiva in Ireland. The company, which was previously part of NTL, had total turnover of €475 million last year and earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation of €172 million.

    Scott Davies, chief executive of Arqiva’s main shareholder Macquarie Communications Infrastructure Group, said the MDRS project matched its investment criteria. ‘‘Infrastructure projects like this are capital intensive and you need peoplewho are in for the long haul,” he said.

    ‘‘We are asset and capital oriented. We deal with sensitive government assets and we adopt a long-term approach.”

    The Macquarie Communications Infrastructure Group is listed in Australia with a market capitalisation of about AUS$2.4 billion (€1.4 billion).


    Declan Ganley, a leading Irish and European entrepreneur


    He is a well-known businessman for his 120 Millions USD Anglo Adriatic Investment Fund in Tirana-Albania.

    Founder of broadband, wireless and cable TV networks, in western, central and eastern Europe, including Broadnet - building wireless networks in ten countries, to include Germany, France, Spain and the UK, and Cabeltel with an extensive cable multi-media network in Eastern Europe.

    ganley During the process of building his Eastern European cable TV interests, Declan fostered the development of locally produced media content for distribution over local and national cable TV networks. The content portfolio included production ranging from local news and current affairs, to light entertainment. From 1991-97 he founded and built what became the largest privately held forestry business in the Former Soviet Union, before selling the business in 1997.

    Declan is Chairman and CEO of Rivada Networks, designing and deploying broadband public safety communications networks for government customers in the United States and Europe. He is an advisor on ‘technology and terrorism’ to the Club De Madrid group of international heads of government and is a member of Futures Group of the Irish Government's Information Society Commission, and Britain’s Royal Institute of International Affairs. He is head of policy for the Brussels based pan-European entrepreneurs association ‘Entrepreneurs for Growth/Europe’s 500’ and serves in the Irish Army Reserve.

    His writings on transatlantic and European affairs have been published by the Foreign Policy Research Institute and he has authored numerous reports for governments on communications policy. He is Chairman of the Forum on Public Safety in Europe and North America, the reports of which have been requested by the United States Senate Foreign Relations Committee and the European Parliament. He has received several awards for business achievement including the Irish Outstanding Young Person of the Year Award 2001 for entrepreneurial accomplishment, and JCI Ireland Entrepreneur of the Year 2005. He is married to Delia, a native of New York City and has four children.



    DECLAN J. GANLEY CHAIRMAN & CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER GANLEY GROUP OF COMPANIES


    Declan was born in July 1968, in Watford, Hertfordshire, UK, and holds Irish citizenship.  He lives in Moyne Park Demesne, County Galway, Ireland with his wife Delia who is from New York and their four children Rafaella (9), Micheál (6), Clementine (4), and James (2).

    Declan is Chairman and Founder of the Ganley Group of Companies, a group of Private Equity Investment Holding and new business development companies headquartered in Galway, Ireland with representative offices across Europe, North America and the Middle East.

    Declan was founder and Chairman of Broadnet, which he built into the largest Pan European Broadband wireless communications company.  Broadnet successfully won “wireless local loop” licences via “beauty contests” in Germany, France, Spain, Portugal, Norway, Austria, Switzerland, the Czech Republic, Poland and in the UK for the greater London area, giving Broadnet one of the largest wireless broadband telecommunications footprints in Europe.  From 1998, Declan brought in Comcast, the world’s largest cable company, as majority shareholder in Broadnet. Ganley’s European Telecommunications Holdings (ETH) held 37.5%.  Through 1999, 2000 and 2002 ETH sold its remaining position to Comcast, where Comcast AT&T now have full control.  To date, over €400 million has been invested into Broadnet operations.

    Declan is President and co-founder of Cable Bulgaria (www.cablebulgaria.com), where he controls 70% of the company. Cable Bulgaria is a cable communications company providing cable media, telephony and data services to households, and to small, medium and large businesses in towns and cities throughout Bulgaria.  Cable Bulgaria is the largest cable network in that country with over 250,000 subscribers.  The company also owns a leading Bulgarian TV news service. The company is currently executing an expansion plan in the region through consolidation, which should grow the business to a subscriber base of 2 million.

    Declan has extensive experience in emerging markets, including his founding and building Kipelova Forestry Enterprises which became the largest forestry company in Russia prior to his selling the company to a consortium which included the Soros Group in August 1997.  The company enjoys continued success under the name NTC.  For a brief period in 1992, Declan acted as a Foreign Economic Affairs Advisor to the new Latvian Government.  He has also acted as Economic Affairs Advisor to the Regional Government of Vologda (Russian Federation) in 1995/96.  Declan’s companies currently hold a number of natural resource interests in the Balkans and is a significant shareholder in two Canadian publicly listed companies in the oil & gas and mining sectors respectively.    

    Declan is the founder and 90% shareholder of Capital Route, an innovative ground transportation provider which will serve the business communities in 26 European cities. The initiative has been developed in conjunction with several leading companies including Daimler Chrysler, who are the exclusive provider to the Capital Route fleet.  Capital Route expects to grow from its current base to a fleet of 8000 vehicles operating in 26 European cities by 2007.  (www.capitalroute.com).

    In partnership with Lucent Technologies and Qualcomm, Declan is majority shareholder and Chairman of a US company engaged in the rollout of a wireless telecommunications network in the Middle East.

    Declan is majority shareholder and Chairman of the European Medical Sciences Campus, which is developing a significant centre for E-health and biotech research and commercialisation on a 223 acre site in the West of Ireland.  Project partners include Imperial College, London, and the National University of Ireland Galway, as well as a number of leading corporates.  The ultimate objective for the development is to provide a European ‘centre of excellence’ for the development and successful commercialisation of E-health and related technology.

    During the process undertaken by some governments to auction 3G radio spectrum, in conjunction with Growth Plus, Declan lead a pan-European Campaign calling for the cancellation and reversal of 3G license auctions across Europe which provoked significant subsequent debate on the topic.

    Declan has been a keynote speaker at several high profile communications/high tech conferences throughout Europe, the US and the Middle East.  In 2000, Declan was acknowledged as one of Irelands leading young Entrepreneurs when profiled by CNN in its Business Unusual series. 

    In October 2000, The Ganley Group of Companies and a number of IT companies in the Galway region identified the need to promote the greater Galway area in the face of strong national and international competition both for employees and inward investment.  In response to this need the Information Technology Association of Galway (ITAG) was co-founded with Siebel Systems, HP Compaq, Start Amadeus and other leading Galway based technology companies.

    During 2002 Declan was appointed to the Irish Government’s Information Society Commission Futures Group, and in 2003 to its E-health working group.  He is a council member of the Galway Chamber of Commerce and Industry and is a member of the Royal Institute of International Affairs, the Irish Army reserve and a Regional Committee of Fianna Fail, the leading party in Ireland’s coalition government.  He has been an active member of Forum 2000, the pro-business group formed to provide input to Ireland’s Fianna Fáil party and is a member of the London based Naval & Military Club. Declan’s writing on European affairs has been published by the Foreign Policy Research Institute (FPRI), a leading international think tank based in Philadelphia. 

    In November 2003, Declan was appointed to chair the organisation of the ‘Forum to Debate the Constitution for Europe’  The Forum is a non-government initiative, initiated by the Chambers of Commerce of Ireland, Eurochambres, the National University of Ireland and the leading Irish technology institute.  The Forum includes the participation of universities from across Europe, including INSEAD.  Imperial College, Leiden University, the Charles University (Prague), ICADE University (Madrid), Cambridge, and other leading universities.  The Forum will take place on the 27th and 28th of May in Galway, Ireland, during the term of Ireland’s EU Presidency.

    He has been the winner of numerous awards for entrepreneurship, including the Irish Junior Chamber Outstanding Young Person of the Year, for 2001.



    The Ganley Group of Companies




    ACL - 25 June 2006





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