Usaha Tegas, the parent group of Malaysian mobile network operator Maxis Communications, has bought a 35.2% stake in Sri Lanka Telecom (SLT) for LKR32 billion (USD297 million) from Japan’s NTT. The purchase was made through Usaha Tegas subsidiary Global Telecommunications Holdings and was the largest ever transaction on the Colombo stock exchange. The deal marks the exit of NTT from SLT, which remains 49.5% government-owned, with the remainder distributed. The Japanese communications group bought its stake in the Sri Lankan incumbent ten years ago for USD225 million, and first tried to sell part of its stake last May, but its attempts were blocked by an inquiry and court action following complaints of a lack of transparency. The new Malaysian investor must now enter into a management partnership agreement with SLT to replace NTT’s previous contract.
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