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25.10.2002 Business & Finance

Malaysians to make $160m Profit on GT sale?

By Weekened Agenda
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They demand $200m for 30% GT share ... They bought it for $38m Telekom Malaysia, the Malaysian telecommunication conglomerate which snapped up 30 percent shares in Ghana Telecom at $38 million in 1997, are offering the same share to the Ghana government for $200m five years after buying into the Ghanaian company.

Sources at the Kwame Nkrumah Circle offices of the nation's leading telecommunications company told Weekend Agenda that the Malaysians are hell-bent on maximizing their income after losing the right to manage the company when the two year term of D'ato Malek Muhamed as managing director expired in April this year.

By strange contractual agreement entered into by the previous administration of this country, Telekom Malaysia, which owned only 30 percent shares provided four of the seven-member board of directors as well as the managing director and other senior members of management.

Agenda can report that following the Malaysian offer, the Government of John Agyekum Kufuor has referred the matter to Price Waterhouse Coopers to evaluate the entire company to be able to assess the value of the Malaysian 30 percent share.

Under the contractual agreement, the Ghana government should have the first option of a buy-out before the Malaysians could offer their shares to any interested party.

Meanwhile, Weekend Agenda has learned that Telekom Malaysia have filed for arbitration in a London court seeking the court's intervention in the company's dispute with Ghana government over events that led to the decision by Felix Owusu Agyapong, to revoke the company's management of Ghana Telekom. The Malaysians are complaining among others about Ghana Government's treatment of G-Com's 30 percent share from which Telekom Malaysia bought 85 per cent share.

Following the decision by the Government to take full control of the administration of the company, Owusu Agyapong appointed a three-man Inter under the Chairmanship of Dickson Oduro-Nyaning, Chief Network Officer as Chairman to run the company. The two other members were Kwaku Awuah-Boateng, Chief Finance Officer and Kofi Dua-Adonteng, Head of the Legal Department, all of Ghana Telecom, to manage the affairs of the company until a substantive managing director was appointed.

Last week, a new nine-member board, made up of six Ghana government representatives and three representing Telekom Malaysia was sworn into office to replace the old board. It is under the chairmanship of Nana Antwi Boasiako, Sekyedumasehene and former managing director of the Crocodile Matchet Company.

The five others representing the Ghana Government on the board are Philip Owusu, former employee of the World Bank, Dr Tanimu Tanko Usman an architect, Foster Dzodzomenyo, a human resource consultant, Kwabena Sarpong an industrial consultant and Yoofi Grant, an investment banker.

D'ato Malek Muhamed, former Ghana Telecom MD leads the three-man Telekom Malaysia representatives. The two others are Nor Hizam Hahim and J.S. Gandum.

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