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MTel selling 30 pct of shares to Hong Kong company

The fixed-line telecommunications service provider says the transfer of shares is pending a green light from the MSAR Government.

The city’s fixed-line telecommunications service provider Mtel Telecommunication Company Ltd. is selling 30 per cent of its shares, evaluating the worth of the overall company at MOP800 million (US$100 million), the company announced this week at a press briefing. The buyer – Elegant Way International Holdings Ltd. – is a Hong Kong-based arm dedicated to the technology business for Mainland Chinese company Zhuhai Southern Group Co. Ltd. The Group, chaired by Cao Xue Di, primarily operates in the machinery and auto sales sector. MTel chairman and CEO Michael Choi Tak Meng said the company officially submitted its application to the SAR Government with regard to the intended transfer of the shares on Monday. The company says they will further prepare all the documents and follow up with the procedure in accordance with its concession contract. Afterwards the transaction will only hang on the approval of the city’s telecommunication regulator, the Bureau of Telecommunications Regulation (DSRT). New shareholder MTel announced its intention of brining in a new investor in February of this year. At the time, at a press conference, it was disclosed that a letter of intent had already been signed between Elegant Way International Holdings Ltd. and MTEL in February, when a first injection of MOP50 million into the company before March 30 was pledged. Now, in August, when queried further on the details of the deal, Mr. Choi declined to comment. However, with the current appraisal, the acquisition of the 30 per cent of shares could cost as much as MOP240 million. It was reported that the potential second major shareholder is coming on board not only to help support the firm’s network coverage work but also to serve as a strategic partner in its data centre business by providing technical support for MTEL’s initiative to develop the business segments of big data, cloud computing and even Internet in vehicles. Additionally, the partner will provide hardware for MTEL for its data centre business. Mr. Choi added that Elegant Way has more than 10 years of experience in the telecommunications field and in areas such as the Internet of Things, Smart City, Smart Home and finance technology. He said that he believes the co-operation will bring MTel and Macau better development in the sector. Breakeven The MTel boss also denied that the company is in a bad position financially. Michael Choi reiterated that the decision was made around half a year ago and that the company wouldn’t last for long if it were financially troubled. He added that the company was fully prepared when bidding for the concession and believes that in the telecommunications sector rewards come after a period of building up a foundation and infrastructure. He says that the company’s performance is coherent with their expectations. “With the efforts of our colleagues and support from the public, we can already break even within this year. This was supposedly to only be achieved next year according to the budget we handed to the government,” said Mr. Choi. He added that after the completion of this transfer of shares the company does not intend to make any further transfer of shares in the near future.