Sale of NTT’s stake in SLT to Maxis approved

10 Mar 2008

Reuters reports that Sri Lanka’s Supreme Court has allowed Japan’s Nippon Telegraph and Telephone (NTT) to sell its shares in Sri Lanka Telecom (SLT), following a court battle that began last June. ‘The [court] order was that NTT has the freedom to sell [any] shares, in the open market, to anyone they want to,’ said Nilanthi Peiris, a lawyer who appeared on behalf of petitioners. The Supreme Court halted the sale of a 25.3% stake in SLT owned by NTT to Usaha Tegas, the parent of Malaysia’s Maxis Communications, via a subsidiary, Global Telecom Holdings, in June 2007, and postponed it again in September following complaints about a lack of transparency. The Sri Lankan government owns 49.5% of SLT, NTT holds 35.2% and the remainder is distributed. TeleGeography’s GlobalComms database says that the share deal requires the government to draw up a new management contract with the Malaysian investor, as the deal would leave NTT with a 9.9% holding, cancelling its existing contract (which ends if its stake drops below 10%).