Telikom PNG Limited, in which the two major superannuation funds are planning to own more than 50 per cent shares, has recorded a K28 million (US$7.9 million) profit in the last financial year.
Telikom paid shareholder Kumul Consolidated Holdings (KCH), on behalf of the Government, a K3 million (US$855,000) dividend.
KCH managing director Professor David Kavanamur said the payment of a dividend, after a long time, “is a good indication that the business is profitable”.
He said the deal on the partial sell-down would occur before the end of the year.
“It’s (Telikom) a running business,” he said.
Cabinet in December approved the partial privatisation of Telikom assets valued at K1.4 billion, with the superfunds given priority.
“We have been waiting for the superfunds to complete their process.
“We would probably have a deal by year-end,” Kavanamur said.
“There is a certain price that we are negotiating with the (superfunds).
“We will have to take it back to the Government (where) a final decision will be made.”
Nasfund executive officer Ian Tarutia told The National last December that it had signed a memorandum of understanding with its consortium partners to invest in Telikom.
It is understood that the balance of Telikom’s shares, after a deal is signed with the superfunds, will remain with the Kumul Consolidated Holdings.
The bulk of the business, which includes the mobile and landline services, will be sold.
PNG State Enterprises Minister William Duma said with the two major superfunds investing in Telikom, it would mean that “people can own our own telecommunication company”.
Duma had said it would be a good investment by the 623,497 members of the National Superannuation Fund (Nasfund) and the 208,000 members of Nambawan Super.
In January this year, Prime Minister James Marape said the delivery of essential services required a more innovative approach by state-owned enterprises if they were to remain competitive.