ST Telemedia Signs Agreements with Malaysia's UTV for the Proposed Investment of 33% Stake in U-Mobile
Kuala Lumpur and Singapore, 15 March 2010 - Singapore Technologies Telemedia (ST Telemedia), a leading information-communications company with operations globally, and U Television Sdn Bhd (UTV), the major shareholder of U Mobile Sdn Bhd (U Mobile), today announced that they have entered into definitive agreements for the proposed acquisition of a 33 percent stake in U Mobile. U Mobile is Malaysia’s fourth mobile phone operator and one of the newest 3G service providers. UTV has engaged both AmBank (M) Berhad and Newfields Advisors Sdn Bhd as its advisors for this transaction.
The definitive agreements were signed by Mr Lee Theng Kiat, President & Chief Executive Officer of ST Telemedia, and Tan Sri Dato’ Seri Vincent Tan Chee Yioun, Chairman of U Mobile Sdn Bhd, and witnessed by YB Dato’ Seri Utama Dr. Rais Yatim, Malaysia’s Minister of Information, Communications and Culture; Mr Lim Ming Seong, Board Director of ST Telemedia and Mr Kenneth Chang, Executive Director of U Mobile, in a signing ceremony held at Berjaya Times Square Hotel in Kuala Lumpur today.
Guests and dignitaries were surprised by the “presence” of Yang Amat Berbahagia Tun Dr. Mahathir bin Mohamad, who extended his greetings via a video call from London and witnessed the proceedings.
YB Dato’ Seri Utama Dr. Rais Yatim in his speech said, “The signing of such strategic partnership acknowledges that Malaysia continues to provide attractive investment opportunities, especially in the information technology sector where the pace of change is so dynamic and competition demands the best effort from all the players in the field.” Following this strategic partnership, U Mobile is expected to benefit via a transfer of skills and technology to pave the way for improved mobile service delivery. U Mobile is planning to accelerate the 3G network rollout and raise the bar on the programs roll-out within the local telecommunications arena.
Dato’ Ir Rosman Ridzwan, Deputy Chairman of U Mobile said, “With this strategic partnership, customers of U Mobile will be offered a totally new broadband experience and this will set a new benchmark of excellence for others to emulate.” He added, “As a 3G operator and a responsible corporate citizen, U Mobile has consistently sought to provide reliable, affordable and diverse range of products and services of a 3G network to Malaysians of all walks of life. Our immediate attention is to expand the multimedia experience and mobile services that we offer to Malaysians. U Mobile will be able to closely partner with ST Telemedia’s presence in many countries, and resulting in many more attractive services to Malaysians.”
On the proposed investment, ST Telemedia’s President & CEO, Mr Lee Theng Kiat said, “The robust telecoms market in Malaysia continues to provide potential for future growth. I believe that our investment in U Mobile is the right strategic decision. ST Telemedia’s investment in U Mobile will provide us with an opportunity to expand into the telecoms industry of Singapore’s closest neighbour and one of our largest trading partners. With its strong wireless and data focus, U Mobile will be a valuable addition to ST Telemedia’s mobile footprint and an excellent business fit for us. Our combined capabilities and market expertise will result in a significant partnership that brings long term mutual benefits and give U Mobile an unparalleled competitive advantage.”
Broadband and its related services are the next growth drivers in Malaysia’s telecommunications market. The Malaysia Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) in its report said that, as at the fourth quarter of 2009, the number of broadband subscribers was only at 2.6 million while mobile broadband was merely at 927,800. In the last official mobile users’ survey conducted by the MCMC, only 13.7 percent of cellular phone users have Internet access via mobile phones, which demonstrates huge potential in this area.