TM spin-off project, Wahid to exit with Jamal’s entry?

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Oct 01 2007
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It was about three months ago when former Maxis Communications Bhd group CEO, Datuk Jamaludin Ibrahim, announced his decision to call it a day. On the day of the resignation announcement there were plenty of speculations as to which company that managed to win the heart of Jamaludin. Of course Jamal, as he was fondly known, refused to entertain the idea that he was fished to join another telecommunication company.

And when the state controlled Telekom Malaysia Berhad (KLSE: TM, stock-code 4863) announced the bold plan to spin off the cash-cow mobile service provider Celcom (M) Sdn Bhd, speculation on the new top management lineup was in the air again. Although it was reported Omar Wahidthat current Telekom Malaysia Berhad group CEO Wahid Omar will at most jump ship into TM International, rumor has it that Wahid Omar is set to make a clean exit from Telekom Malaysia Berhad.

It was rumored that Omar Wahid will join Malayan Banking Berhad (KLSE: MAYBANK, stock-code 1155) while former Maxis CEO Jamaludin’s holiday is over and will finally report to work replacing Omar Wahid. However TM clarified today that Wahid Omar remains the group CEO and at the same time denied it has even approached Jamal.

JamaludinThe truth is while Wahid Omar had brought in some minor improvements via restructurings; he nevertheless has not created any significant value that the shareholders can be proud of. But in order to go in full force to attract foreign investor(s) and to unlock the estimated 20% “extra value” within TM Group, Jamal could be a better candidate as far as past report card is concern. In addition, world’s leading mobile telecommunications company, Vodafone Group, which is Celcom’s strategic 3-G alliance partner might be the candidate identified to take a strategic stake in TM International.

The mere plan of the spinoff have already created the excitement when the stock price of TM jumped 9.3 percent to RM10.60 today, the most in seven years on the Kuala Lumpur Stock Exchange (KLSE). Considering the detail scope of the demerger plan will only be known to all in Dec-2007, perhaps the rumor about the departure of Wahid and the entry of Jamal will becomes fact after all. Let’s wait and see.

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