KUALA LUMPUR (June 4): Kaizad Heerjee, CEO of U Mobile Sdn Bhd, a mobile telecommunications company privately owned by businessman Tan Sri Vincent Tan Chee Yioun, announced his intention to resign last week. This could place a dampener on the company's plans to list later this year.
When contacted by The Edge Financial Daily, Kaizad confirmed that he had announced his resignation.
"An announcement will be made in due course," he said, without elaborating. Kaizad was appointed CEO of U Mobile in July 2010.
It was reported in news and analyst reports that U Mobile was intending to list by July this year in order to fund its network expansion. The company has always been open about its intention to go public, but has not given a timeline.
Kaizad's reasons for leaving are not clear. According to the U Mobile website, prior to joining the company, Kaizad was chief commercial officer at PT Indosat Tbk, Indonesia's second largest mobile service provider. Kaizad also held the positions of senior vice-president of internal operations and business development at Singapore Technologies Telemedia (STT) and senior vice-president and head of business markets at StarHub Ltd.
U Mobile's largest stakeholder is U Telemedia Sdn Bhd, which holds a 52.8% stake, and is owned by Tan, who is also the company's chairman. STT, which is owned by Singapore government investment arm Temasek Holdings, is the next largest shareholder with 33%.
The other shareholders of U Mobile are Multi-Purpose Holdings Bhd with a 6.3% stake and Glorious Reflection Sdn Bhd holding 7.9%. Glorious Reflection's major shareholder is Tan's brother Tan Sri Danny Tan.
Although the exact valuation of U Mobile is not yet known, STT acquired the stake in March 2010, equivalent to 464.4 million shares for RM625 million. Based on STT's acquisition, it values one U Mobile share at around RM1.35, which means that the entire company is worth some RM1.9 billion.
STT had announced that it planned to pump in an additional RM375 million into U Mobile as part of its RM1 billion investment commitment. It was reported that the additional RM375 million was for a rights issue that U Mobile would undertake in order to fund its expansion.
U Mobile is the smallest of the telecommunications players to hold a 3G licence, but the company has been aggressively establishing itself as a niche player under Kaizad's leadership. It has a partnership with Maxis Bhd in which both parties signed a network sharing and alliance agreement to share 3G and other infrastructure, marking the country's first active 3G radio access network sharing arrangement among telecommunications companies.
This story appeared in The Edge Financial Daily on June 4, 2012.