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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Mfone CEO to resign, company says still open to merger talks

Mfone CEO to resign, company says still open to merger talks

111013_07
A motorbike drives past an Mfone sign in Phnom Penh yesterday.

MFONE CEO Yap Wai Khee will resign at the end of the month, officials said yesterday, fuelling questions about the future of the company.

Yap Wai Khee, who held the position for about a year, will leave for family-related reasons, according to Atip Rittaporn, managing director of Mfone’s holding company, Shenington Investments. The Singapore-based company owns 100 per cent of Mfone.

Yap Wai Khee could not be reached for comment. While the company is in talks with local telecoms Beeline and Hello regarding what Atip Rittaporn said was operational cooperation, he also stated Mfone was looking for potential buyers.

“The option for acquisition is open to Beeline and Hello,” he said, emphasising that no formal discussion had yet taken place.

Comments from Thaicom chief executive Suphajee Suthumpun in August indicated the possible sale of Mfone – which Thaicom controls via its majority stake in Shenington Investments – and Lao Telecommunications Co, but no move has since been announced.

Mfone had previously held merger talks with Cambodian mobile operators Beeline and qb, but Atip Rittaporn said the talks fell through.

Hello CEO Simon Perkins yesterday declined to comment on any current talks with Mfone, citing commercial confidentiality, but offered insight on Cambodia’s crowded telecommunications sector.

“There’s too many players in this market. We would look at any opportunity that enters the market,” Perkins said. He previously confirmed that discussions between Hello and Mfone had taken place in the past.

Beeline general director Gael Campan yesterday did not respond to requests by the Post for comment.  

Mfone lost about 120,000 subscribers between May and July, ranking the company at number five of all the Kingdom’s telecoms with about 950,000 users, according to statistics acquired by the Post in September.

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