Government to investigate botched bidding

12 Jan 2004

The Lebanese government is expected to appoint a ministerial committee to investigate why five companies withdrew from the bidding to manage two cellular networks. The Beirut administration controversially cancelled the ten year build, operate and transfer (BOT) licences belonging to LibanCell and Cellis in June 2001, three years before their official end date. In the three years since then, the government has repeatedly attempted to hold a tender to reissue the licences, but to no success. In May 2003 seven companies expressed an interest in the concessions, but only two formally submitted bids. The government hopes to find the reasons behind the withdrawal of the remainder.