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26 January 2016

The results of EY, KPMG, Jones Day, FTI Consulting and Ritch Muller have reached the conclusion that all the accusations made in the defamatory campaign are false

OHL México reaffirms its project investment commitment, for 15,000 million pesos

OHL México has presented its projects and plans for 2016, to include continued construction works of the Atizapán-Atlacomulco road and Northern Puebla Bypass, which will generate 4,300 direct and 11,500 indirect jobs, as well as a project investment of 15,000 million pesos, in addition to the 60,000 million that the company has already invested in Mexico. 

Furthermore, at a press conference, Sergio Hidalgo Monroy Portillo, General Manager of OHL México, pointed out that the company will continue to examine any projects of interest for investors, such as the La Raza- Indios Verdes-Santa Clara Viaduct and the construction of a 31 kilometer section along the Tepic-San Blas Toll Road. 

He also affirmed that, this year, the Group will continue with its Corporate Social Responsibility Plan, to specifically include the development and support of projects that improve the quality of life of Mexican citizens, through their involvement in the productive cycle, thereby creating a strong link with the local community where OHL México is present. 

He recalled that, at present, OHL México is constructing, managing and maintaining seven toll roads and an airport, representing approximately 5% of all infrastructure concessions in Mexico, granted by the governments represented by the three leading political parties. 

“As far as OHL México is concerned, we intend to continue investing in the country. That is our commitment”, stated Hidalgo Monroy Portillo.

Extortion campaign

Sergio Hidalgo also referred to the blackmail and extortion campaign launched against OHL México by the Mexican company Infraiber, which began to put pressure on the company when it failed to obtain a contract with the State of Mexico to install and operate an Independent System for the Verification of Vehicle Capacity, Revenues and Level of Service (SIVA).

First, Infraiber verbally asked OHL Concesiones to intervene before the Mexican authorities in order to instruct a reinstallation of SIVA on the toll road, warning it that, otherwise, they would exert pressure on the company. Subsequently, Infraiber contacted OHL Concesiones’s offices in Madrid, insisting before the management that if the SIVA issue was not resolved there would be a huge scandal to its detriment.

OHL México’s executive recalled that, further to an analysis conducted; this contract would have generated business of approximately 4,000 million pesos for Infraiber, a company with zero experience in the field and created ad hoc just three months earlier.

Due to OHL’s refusal to fall for Infraiber’s blackmail, a series of advertisements began to be broadcast in the Mexican media, first on an anonymous basis with fictitious names and, subsequently, with reference to the authors. It also sent releases to various governmental offices and financial institutions -and continues to do so- both in Mexico and other Latin American countries and Spain, insulting OHL México and the OHL Group.

In addition, the YouTube video channel started to broadcast a series of private telephone conversations, which were edited, manipulated and illegally obtained.

Hidalgo Monroy Portillo pointed out that in this situation and in order to put its investors at ease, the Auditing Committee of OHL México conducted a series of investigations, involving more than 25 auditors, working full-time, from the world’s most renowned firms, offering proven experience and long-term professional recognition.

“The results of EY, KPMG, Jones Day, FTI Consulting and Ritch Muller have reached the conclusion that all the accusations made in the defamation campaign are false”, highlighted OHL México’s General Manager.

The audits also included an analysis of audio files, ascertaining that they had been altered to change the sense of the conversations. The technical opinion of a renowned acoustic expert determined that the recordings had been altered and manipulated. In one recording, thirteen digital alterations were located at key moments in the speech; furthermore, cuts were made at strategic moments in the conversation, changing its logic and content.

Furthermore, during the press conference he explained that various legal actions have been brought against this campaign: four complaints before the Attorney General of Mexico (PGR), due to the intervention and dissemination of illegal and edited telephone conversations; a criminal complaint for extortion; and a civil claim for reputational damage, requiring that Infraiber and its representatives prove, before the courts, 36 false accusations made in their campaign.

“Despite this extortion and blackmail campaign, we trust that justice will prevail in our favor. Investments require legal and regulatory certainty. We would like these offences to not go unheeded and that the authors be tried and punished”, indicated Hidalgo Monroy Portillo.

Finally in relation to the differences in accounting criteria applied by the CNBV and the company, OHL considers that its accounting standards are correct and conform to law; this has been unanimously endorsed, with no ambiguity, by four of the world’s most important chartered accountant firms: Deloitte, EY, KPMG and PwC, as reflected in their reports. Likewise, the Spanish Securities Market Commission has upheld this accounting formula, coinciding with the opinion of these four large auditing firms.

The OHL Group is present in more than 30 countries and needs to be governed by international standards, as also required by the CNBV. This change of policy, proposed by the CNBV, would mean that none of these large auditing firms- which audit more than 80% of the companies included in the Mexican benchmark- would be able to issue an auditing report without qualifications. In order to be able to draw up global accounts, the OHL Group needs to formulate accounts that follow the criteria established by these large firms.

(For more information, please visit: http://ohlresponde.com/)

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