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Huawei withdraws injunction

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A cyclist passes in front of the boarded-up Mfone office in Phnom Penh. Photograph: Heng Chivoan/Phnom Penh Post

Huawei Technologies (Cambodia) Co agreed yesterday to withdraw its injunction against Mfone in order to pave the way for a court-appointed administrator to sell the bankrupt company’s assets and compensate its many creditors.

Aaron Zheng, Huawei’s legal manager, agreed to withdraw the court injunction and asked the administrator to find buyers as soon as possible because “the longer they delay the sell-out, the cheaper assets are,” he said.

Along with other creditors, Huawei representatives expressed concerns that the assets would be sold below market price.

“We think the price now will be much less than the price in the book,” he said.

“We don’t know yet how what percentage we will get. We don’t expect that we will receive our demand, as there are a lot of creditors. It is bankrupt, so how can we get $65 million? We already accept the loss.”

Ouk Ry, the government-appointed administrator to oversee the sale of Mfone’s assets, said that after all the injunction orders were lifted, officials would be able to finalise the sale of assets, allowing a payout to the various creditors.

“After we have cleared the way, we will approach the buyers and begin the bargaining – so it can still take few months to complete,” he said “First creditor, according to the law, is employees,” he said, adding that he couldn’t predict the value of all the assets.

Paul M Tithyasak, senior finance adviser to the administrator, said Mfone’s total assets are worth about $107 million. Among those assets are 1,037 base station towers that cost about $100,000 each.

He said those assets were counted on February 15 and valued based on the recorded book value, while the current market value would be lower.

Mfone creditors include Huawei, NEC, Cambodian Fibre Optic Cable Network, Vatana and Eltek, prepaid card dealers, tower land owners and employees, according to Ry.

With Huawei having lifted its injunction, the matter is now left to the courts to proceed.

Sin Visal, Phnom Penh Municipal Court judge, said the outcome of the case would depend on the decision of his council of judges.

“After this meeting, I will take this case to consider in the group,” he said.

Nim Sonyda, employees’ representative, said he has also requested that Eltek withdraw its injunction order to allow for the quick selling of assets.

“I ask for the judge to consider this case as soon as possible,” he said.



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