Kumul Telikom Merger Confirmed but without Mangos

BY GORETHY KENNETH and ROSALYN ALBANIEL

THE merger of State-owned telecommunication companies – Telikom PNG, DataCo and bmobile – will go ahead but without John Mangos at the helm. Public Enterprises and State Investments Minister Charles Abel said yesterday the merger was on despite protests by the Telikom PNG workers union.

But the Government has given in to the workers’ demand to rescind the appointment of Mr Mangos as managing director of the new entity Kumul Telikom. Instead he will be retained as a consultant to Kumul Consolidated Holdings.

Mr Abel announced that former Independent Consumer and Competition Commission boss Thomas Abe had been officially appointed as acting managing director of Kumul Consolidated Holdings, replacing Michael O’Donnelly, until a permanent appointment is made.

He said that Cabinet approved the merger on Tuesday including the appointment of the board and its directors.

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The board will headed by Mahesh Patel as chairman, Reuben Kautu as deputy chairman, Cedric Rondoke (director), Kili Tambua (director), Avia Koisen (director), and Andrew Johnson (director), while the managing director position will be vacant until a suitable applicant is found.

“He (Mangos) is not the MD or acting MD. There will be a due process of recruitment through the board of Kumul Telikom which will advise me as per the due process of a suitable applicant for that position,”

Mr Abel said. He said there would be minimal impact, especially on workers, and that the amalgamation of the three companies meant:  Telikom PNG remains a 100 per cent subsidiary of KCH and renamed Kumul Telikom Holdings Ltd (Kumul Telikom); bmobile and DataCo will become subsidiaries of Kumul Telikom – effectively creating an amalgamation of the three; The three entities essentially remain intact;

The new board of Kumul Telikom will include former board members of Telikom, bmobile and DataCo; and nKumul Telikom will be overseen by a single board and a group managing director.

He said a transition management team, headed by current Telikom PNG chief executive officer Michael Donnelly would oversee and ensure the successful amalgamation of the three entities.

“The amalgamation allows the cost-effective sharing of resources and market intelligence.

“It will allow us to realise cost savings and harness the synergies among the three telcos.

“The decision ensures that Kumul Telikom operates as an integrated retail and wholesale operator through its business units bmobile and DataCo respectively,” he said.

Mr Abel said a simple example of efficiency was that the three telcos would share basic infrastructure such as towers throughout the country.

“It means we can roll out more towers to the greater benefit of all, providing more services at a lower cost, to more people in Papua New Guinea,” he said.

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