Appeals court upholds decision to disqualify Christian Borg’s company from car leasing tender for judiciary

No Deposit Cars Malta Ltd's Christian Borg, has his other company Princess Operations Ltd disqualified from a multi-million-euro car leasing tender as Appeals Court upholds decision by the Public Contracts Review Board


The Appeals Court has upheld a decision by the Public Contracts Review Board to disqualify Christian Borg’s Princess Operations Limited from a multi-million-euro car leasing tender for the judiciary. 

The Court Services Agency had issued a call for tender in May 2022 ‘for the Lease of 48 Plug-in Hybrid Vehicles for the Members of the Judiciary’.

Three companies had submitted a bid, with Princess Operations coming in as the cheapest bidder at €2.6 million, with the next closest bid being Fremond Ltd at €3.3 million.

However, Princess’s offer was deemed “administratively non-compliant” by the selection committee thus disqualifying it from the process. Tests applied to the bids concluded that “the bidder (Princess Operations Limited) did not have the sufficient contracts of similar nature which meet the €1,000,000 threshold”.

Bidders had to show they were able to live up to the tender’s obligations by submitting a list of contracts of “a similar nature” - leasing of cars - for the years 2019, 2020 and 2021, with a total minimum value of not less than €1,000,000.

Princess appealed the decision in November 2022, but the review board upheld the original decision. Among other reasons, the board of review said the daily benchmark rate of less than €12.11 submitted by Princess Operations was deemed “not realistic” since it would be “financially and operationally” unable to meet the extent of such contractual obligations. 

Christian Borg, 29, from Swieqi, also owns two other car-hire showrooms, No Deposit Cars Malta in Qormi and Easy Finance Motor House in Burmarrad.

Under the due diligence exercise cited by the committee in its decision, it stated that four of the suppliers (Agency for the Welfare of Asylum Seekers, Wasteserv Malta Ltd, Commissioner of Police and Malta Enterprise), were not supplied by the company as it had previously declared.

Princess reacted to this by saying that “while this is technically correct” since those contracts were contracted with Christian Borg, it noted that he is the ultimate sole shareholder of the company. It also added that it could have provided proof that, although the contracts were contracted with Christian Borg, the income was applied to the accounts of the company had it been asked for a clarification.

The Appeals Court presided by Chief Justice Mark Chetcuti and judges Giannino Caruana Demajo and Anthony Ellul, rejected Princess Operations’s appeal and confirmed the review board’s decision.

In February 2022, Christian Borg, the main shareholder of the Princess group of companies, accused of direct involvement in the abduction and assault of a man, conceded the directorship of his company Princess Operations to Joseph Camenzuli, a one-time photographer for the Labour Party and prime minister Joseph Muscat.

Companies belonging to members of the so-called abduction gang that are now facing charges in court, have changed directors in a bid to avert a fallout from their blacklisting on lucrative public contracts.

Sources have told MaltaToday that Borg’s companies have held or are holding several contracts with public entities, having won several tenders to lease cars to the police, Transport Malta and LESA.