“To us, the preferred solution is for Time Engineering to divest its investment in Time dotCom. This is the preferred option, but how to do it is another issue,” UEM Group managing director and chief executive officer Datuk Ahmad Pardas Senin told reporters recently.
UEM group has a 45.03 per cent stake in Time Engineering, while the latter in turn holds a 43.83 per cent stake in Time dotCom as at December 31 2005.
Time Engineering registered a net loss of RM34.7 million against a revenue of RM422.1 million for the financial year ended December 31 2006. Time dotCom, meanwhile, registered a net loss of RM177.8 million against RM335.4 million revenue for the same period.
Ahmad Pardas said when taken into context of the UEM Group, Time Engineering contributes only a very small portion financially.
“Nevertheless, we are very concerned with the development in this particular sector but the solution is not going to be easy.
“The technical solution is probably easy while the structural solution is probably more difficult,” Ahmad Pardas said.
He said UEM is only exposed to the financial woes of Time dotCom through its parent Time Engineering.
Because of this, the decision on what needs to be done regarding Time Engineering and Time dotCom has been left to Khazanah Nasional, which holds a direct interest in Time dotCom. Khazanah Nasional has a 30.04 per cent stake in Time dotCom as at December 31 2005.
Ahmad Pardas said with the Time dotCom portion and the debts Time Engineering took to invest in the company are taken away, Time Engineering can be seen to be doing well.
“Dagang Net has nicely turned around, while Time Quantum is doing well handling the (Pengajaran dan Pembelajaran Sains dan Matematik dalam Bahasa Inggeris) PPSMI projects for schools,” he said.-NST