GSD: “TNG Global Foundation Was Not the Highest Bidder In Expressions of Interest Process For Bayside/St Anne’s”
The GSD says the Government has confirmed that TNG Global Foundation "did not actually submit a bid” in the Expressions of Interest [EOI] process for the Bayside and St Anne’s site.
A statement from the GSD follows below:
The Government has now confirmed that TNG Global Foundation (and those behind it) did not actually submit a bid in the Expressions of Interest [EOI] process for the Bayside and St Anne’s site. That process closed in December 2017.
That is unsurprising as TNG Global Foundation did not exist at the time but the admission has been extracted from Government like pulling teeth and against a wall of continued misrepresentations.
Instead in the late summer of this year once the negotiations with the highest apparent bidder of the sites collapsed the Government started negotiations with those now behind TNG Global Foundation who had first approached them in 2019 well after the EOI process had closed.
There was no attempt to retender or issue a fresh Expressions of Interest advert for a new process. This was a naked direct allocation to a party that had put a £3.7M donation on the table also during the summer when they aspired to be allocated these plots directly and without a tender process. People will legitimately ask whether this influenced the negotiations and gave them an inside track to a direct allocation.
The Govt has changed its tune in barely five days. On 14 October 2021 it insisted that TNG had submitted the highest bid in the EOI process. It said “.......the land was allocated as a result of an Expressions of Interest tender having allowed the Government to see what each interested party was prepared to pay. The offer from the TNG Global Foundation was BY FAR the highest offer for the land by a margin of many millions of pounds…”
This was an obvious misrepresentation given the latest information that TNG Global Foundation had not actually submitted a bid in the EOI process. It confirms that this has been anything but an open and fair process.
Leader of the Opposition, Keith Azopardi said: “Even when changing their tune yesterday the Government still persists in the continued misrepresentation of TNG Global Foundation being the highest bidder in the process. This is pure fantasy. They cannot have been the highest bidder because they did not put in a bid by the 2017 deadline and they did not even exist. To then say that the direct talks with those behind TNG was part of the same Expressions of Interest process is a complete fabrication and a rewriting of history.
The Government should man up and admit they decided for whatever reason to directly allocate these two valuable plots to TNG Global Foundation without re-running an open process. If they had re-run the open process they may have had other parties interested that would bid more. But they failed to do so. This whole deal was opaque and raises serious issues of why this Foundation that has only existed for three weeks should have been allocated the Bayside/St Anne’s sites and have suddenly almost overnight become the most major land player in Gibraltar.”