Boonchai Bencharongkul, the billionaire founder of Total Access Communication (DTAC), insists he will maintain his stake in the second-ranked mobile operator, saying the company's shareholding structure is already in compliance with the law.
Boonchai: It’s all above board
He owns 51% of Thai Telco Holding, which has a 22.42% stake in DTAC.
Also the chairman of DTAC, Mr Boonchai said he will raise his shareholding freezing plan at a shareholders' meeting next month for acknowledgement along with a recent shareholding restructuring programme.
DTAC last July underwent structural changes in the shareholding of Thai Telco.
Under the new structure, the Bencharongkul family _ through BCH Holding Co _ owns 51% of Thai Telco, while Norway's Telenor Group retains its direct shareholding of 49%.
But the restructuring had nothing to do with the shareholding figure of Telenor Asia, as that company's shareholding stake in DTAC remained at 42.62% while Thai Telco kept 22.42% of DTAC.
The restructuring was aimed at reducing the risk of breaching the Foreign Business Act and easing previous regulatory uncertainty.
While acknowledging that DTAC has more foreign executives in management positions than rivals do, Mr Boonchai said foreign know-how is necessary to deal with more advanced technologies such as 4G.
He said DTAC is interested in bidding for 25 megahertz of bandwidth on the 1800-MHz band, now run by True Move and Advanced Info Service's Digital Phone Co under CAT Telecom concessions set to expire in September.
"We'll soon ask the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission whether we have the right to enter the spectrum auction," he added.
About the author
- Writer: Komsan Tortermvasana
Position: Senior Business Reporter