DNB adds new board members, will review SSAs and due diligence

DNB adds new board members, will review SSAs and due diligence

Malaysia’s wholesale 5G operator Digital Nasional Berhad (DNB) announced on Thursday that it has appointed new members to its board, whose first mission will be to finalise stakeholder ownership details and review DNB’s due diligence findings.

The five new board members represent Telekom Malaysia, Maxis, U Mobile, YTL and CelcomDigi’s Infranation, all of whom signed share subscription agreements (SSAs) in December 2023 to collectively take a 70% stake in DNB, with each taking a 14% stake, while the Minister of Finance (MOF) will hold the remaining 30% as well as a “special share”.

Joining the DNB board are Datuk Kamal Khalid (chief transformation officer from CelcomDigi), Uthaya Kumar K Vivekananda (independent director of Maxis), Chang Yit Fei (director of U Mobile), Nik Azli Abu Zahar (group counsel for Telekom Malaysia) and Datuk Seri Yeoh Seok Hong (MD of YTL Power International).

They will serve on the DNB board alongside incumbent board members, treasury secretary general Datuk Johan Mahmood Merican and Digital Ministry deputy secretary Ma Sivanesan Marimuthu, DNB said in a statement. All appointments took effect on April 24.

According to The Edge Malaysia, Digital Minister Gobind Singh Deo said in a statement on Thursday that the new DNB board is already planning to convene a meeting to discuss the remaining details to finalise the “condition precedents” that have to be settled before the SSAs can take effect. He also said the board will review “due diligence findings”.

Last week, a report from Channel News Asia, citing anonymous sources, claimed that negotiations over the details of the SSAs have stalled over disagreement on the condition precedents, as well as the appointment of board directors and the completion of three independent confidential audits on DNB.

The report also claimed that the due diligence reviews that would help telcos decide whether to stay in DNB or move to the government’s planned second 5G operator were still ongoing, despite originally being expected to be completed in January. The report also claimed that telcos were concerned over DNB’s alleged lack of internal transparency regarding supply tenders.

DNB firmly denied that the SSA negotiations have broken down. It also denied claims that it has not been transparent in its internal operations or tender processes.


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