New Partner

April 01, 2008 (LBO) – Malaysia's Usaha Tegas (UT) group said it was looking to provide management input to Sri Lanka Telecom (SLT) and work with its major shareholder, Sri Lanka's government, after buying a third stake in the telco. The UT group bought a 35.19 percent stake in SLT through Global Telecommunication Holdings (GTH), a Netherlands incorporated unit, for 50.50 rupees a share, or 32 billion Sri Lanka rupees making it the biggest ever transaction on the Colombo stock exchange.

The deal was valued at 299 million dollars or 29.8 billion yen by NTT Communications which sold out after being the de facto managing shareholder for about a decade after the state-run firm was privatized.

"GTH and UT will commit resources to support the Board and management of SLT to create additional opportunities for its employees and to achieve the overall objectives of the company," the UT group said in a statement Tuesday.

"The Board of GTH views the investment in SLT to be a strategic investment and looks forward to working with the other shareholders of the company, including the Government of Sri Lanka¦"

The Sri Lanka government has a 49.5 percent stake in the firm. NTT had the right to appoint a chief executive under a

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