Maxis in talks on Natrindo stake sale

CYBERJAYA: Maxis Communications Bhd is in talks with several parties for the sale of part of its stake in PT Natrindo Telepon Seluler, which it expects to be concluded soon. 

It was possible that the company would have more than one strategic partner in the Indonesian mobile services operator, said Maxis chairman Tan Sri Megat Zaharuddin Megat Mohd Nor. 

“It could be one party or it could be many parties,” he told reporters after the launch of Maxis’ Mobile Content Challenge contest yesterday. 

In the last week of April, Maxis had increased its aggregate stake in Natrindo to 95% from 51%. 

Datuk Seri Dr Lim Keng Yaik (right) observing a demonstration on a mobile phone. With him is Tan Sri Megat Zaharuddin Megat Mohd Nor (far left).

On the privatisation plan for Maxis, Megat Zaharuddin said the company would continue to focus on existing operations, “but we are always on the lookout for opportunities that arise.” 

On May 3, T. Ananda Krishnan-led Binariang GSM Sdn Bhd had made a buyout offer for Maxis at RM15.60 per share, or a 20% premium over the share price before the offer. 

Maxis announced the following day that it would hold an EGM for shareholders to consider the offer but has not set a date. 

At yesterday’s event, Energy, Water and Communications Minister Datuk Seri Dr Lim Keng Yaik also announced an initial fund of RM20mil for the Networked Content Development Grant set up under the Malaysian Communications & Multimedia Commission (MCMC). 

More funds could be made available if necessary, Lim said. 

Fund disbursement was expected by September, but details of how much a single company could receive had yet to be worked out, MCMC chairman Datuk Halim Shafie said. 

Launched in collaboration with the ministry and MCMC, the Mobile Content Challenge offers prize money totalling RM100,000 and is open only to students currently enrolled in institutes of higher learning in Malaysia. 

Students may form teams to take part in the contest, which closes on June 15. Ten finalists will be announced on July 2.  

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