Maxis still interested in SLT stake
Global Telecom Holdings (GTH), the parent company of Maxis Communications, the Malaysian telecommunications giant, is still interested in purchasing the 25.3 per cent stake in Sri Lanka Telecom (SLT) from Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corporation (NTT), a Japanese company which currently owns 35.2 per cent of SLT shares, informed sources said.
Due to a fundamental rights petition filed in 2007 by former Minister Sripathi Sooriyaarachchi, alleging fraud and corruption surrounding the proposed deal, the Supreme Court issued an interim order preventing any further developments regarding the share sale.
At that time, insiders said Maxis had lost interest in acquiring the SLT stake due to the considerable amount of negative attention and criticism from several parties in addition to the court case. However, the sources now say that as recently as two weeks ago, there have been rumblings that Maxis has again renewed its interest.
One source told The Sunday Times FT that the Malaysian company is 'trying through some other means' to acquire the 25.3 percent of SLT shares and feels strongly that the deal will go through although no specifics were given as to a timeframe.
Any sale of SLT shares will have to take place at the conclusion of the Supreme Court case which is due to be heard next on February 22.
Sooriyaarachchi had earlier told this newspaper that Maxis is completely unknown and unheard of with no experience and financial capacity and that it is the intention of Maxis to 'ruin SLT' through this transaction.
The government of Sri Lanka owns 49.5 per cent of SLT shares while the rest is held by the public.