Tele Talk

April 02, 2008 (LBO) – Malaysia’s Usaha Tegas (UT) group, which bought a 35.2 percent stake in Sri Lanka Telecom, is likely to make changes at the telecom operator only after a minority shareholder buyout is completed, officials said. The UT group which paid 299 million dollars to NTT Communications through Global Telecommunications Holdings (GTH), a Netherlands based unit, met government officials late Tuesday.

The government of Sri Lanka has a 49.5 percent stake in the company. GTH was represented by director Ralph Marshall at the meeting.

A senior SLT official may be asked to overlook operations until a chief executive is appointed in much the same way as an officer runs the telco when the chief executive goes abroad, a government official said, on condition of anonymity.

Until yesterday NTT Communications had the right to appoint a chief executive under a shareholders agreement between the Japanese firm and the government.

A chief executive is likely to be appointed in consultation with the major shareholders in the future. But efforts of GTH is likely to be focused in completing the buyout of smaller shareholders, the official said.

The official said no discussions had been held whether the government w