Isn’t it dirt cheap for TM to dispose of its stake in Menara KL for a mere RM3.8 mil?

ONE wonders if Telekom Malaysia Bhd (TM) has short-changed itself by disposing its 100% interest in Menara Kuala Lumpur Sdn Bhd (MKLSB) for a mere RM3.8 mil when the net profit recorded by the latter through concessions and the right to manage Menara KL was said to be worth as much as RM20 mil in 2019 (2018: RM25 mil).

According to TM’s 3Q FY2022 financial announcement to Bursa Malaysia, the telco group had on Oct 31 completed a share purchase agreement to dispose its 100% interest in MKLSB for RM3.8 mil comprising of cash and the acquirer’s commitment to make good obligations associated to the concession.

Interestingly, the announcement made no mention of the acquirer’s identity, notably whether it was the said financially troubled Hydroshoppe Sdn Bhd and whether the transaction entailed “10 million shares” as reported by the FocusM yesterday (Dec 28).

For the uninitiated, Menara KL is owned by the Government while the operations and maintenance of the tower is granted under a concession. TM via its wholly owned subsidiary MKLSB had undertaken the concession since 1996.

Meanwhile, the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) is investigating elements of corruption in the sale of 100% of shares belonging to a TM subsidiary to a company in the issue of the transfer of ownership rights to the management of Menara Kuala Lumpur (Menara KL).

Towards this end, it has summoned three people over the transfer of the Menara KL concession to Hydroshoppe Sdn Bhd. In a statement today, the graft buster agency confirmed that the investigation was carried out after it found suspicion in the ownership transfer of the iconic building’s management.

Whatever said, TM issued a media statement today to clarify that it is exiting the concessionaire as part of its business transformation programme whereby it is focusing its efforts and resources to strengthen its core business of telecommunications and technology.

“After due consideration on the change in the business nature of Menara KL from telecommunications services to tourism and hospitality, TM has decided in October 2021 not to renew the MKL concession and informed the Government accordingly,” the national telco operator pointed out.

“Subsequently in 2022, the selection process of the new concessionaire was then taken up by the Government upon which TM was informed on the appointed company to take over the shares of MKLSB and the Menara KL concession.”

TM went on to say that MKLSB shall continue to operate the concession and ensure the continuity of Menara KL operations for the Malaysian public, including international visitors.

“Employees will remain employed with MKLSB under the new concessionaire for a minimum period of three years. This is to ensure their welfare is protected in this transition,” TM further noted.

It added: “TM practices good governance and transparency in our business undertakings to preserve the interest of our customers and stakeholders. TM will provide our full cooperation and disclosures as required by the authorities.” – Dec 29, 2022

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