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ATH Works On Bringing All Its Subsidiaries Under One Roof

The Amalgamated Telecom Holdings Limited is working towards bringing all its subsidiaries under one roof through its continuing consolidation phase. ATH chairman, Ajith Kodagoda, stressed consolidation has always been their
01 Sep 2016 11:23
ATH Works On Bringing All Its Subsidiaries Under One Roof
Amalgamated Telecom Holdings chairman, Ajith Kodagoda, in an interview with the Fiji Sun after the ATH annual general meeting at the Holiday Inn Suva yesterday. Photo: VILIMONI VAGANALAU

The Amalgamated Telecom Holdings Limited is working towards bringing all its subsidiaries under one roof through its continuing consolidation phase.

ATH chairman, Ajith Kodagoda, stressed consolidation has always been their focus as there is no point in duplicating something.

He said the idea is to have one group chief executive, one group financial controller etc so that resources are not being duplicated.

He made these comments to the Fiji Sun following the conclusion of a successful annual general meeting at the Holiday Inn Suva yesterday.

Mr Kodagoda said currently, there are three separate boards one each for Telecom Fiji, Vodafone Fiji and FINTEL.

“They are not necessarily looking at things objectively because they are fighting for their own business interest which is natural because they all want to be the best,” he said.

“So if we have one vision, one mission and have one board there, it just makes sure that the strategies are aligned with what ATH wants rather than duplicating it.”

What ATH is trying to do is come up with a structure to ensure the subsidiaries specialise in a particular area.

“And then rather than cutting into each other’s areas of expertise, it’s better to consolidate,” he said.

Mr Kodagoda said the first stage obviously was to try and buy out the Government shareholding which has now been achieved.

But it is easier said than done. Before total consolidation, ATH also has to consider tax implications and shareholder implications.

At the same time, with ATH being a listed company on the South Pacific Stock Exchange, there are rules which it has to comply with.

Mr Kodagoda emphasised: “The process has started but it is hard to give a timeline for it. However, consolidation is out ultimate objective.”

 

One property

Meanwhile, also amidst discussions at the AGM was ownership and sale of ATH assets/properties.

A shareholder questioned whether the premises which houses DATEC (Fiji) Limited was also purchased when the business was acquired.

To this, ATH general manager, Ivan Fong, said ATH is not in the business of properties and thus there is no need for ATH to own properties.

He said it was not efficient for them to own properties and which was the reason for the sale of Ganilau House.

But at the same time, Mr Fong indicated part of the consolidation exercise for ATH was to bring people together working as a team.

He confirmed management has been looking at options of how to bring everyone closer together.

“It may or may not require finding a new property somewhere to bring everyone of the subsidiaries under one roof –whether we build it or someone else builds it – that is what we are looking at,” he said.

“Across operation levels, when you put everyone together, you get more ideas faster and quicker and it works better that way.”

Feedback:  rachnal@fijisun.com.fj

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