Chair­man re­futes re­port on ty­coon bid­ding for 49pc stake in BNC

New Straits Times - - Business - Farah Adilla

KUALA LUMPUR: Ty­coon Tan Sri Dr Lim Kok Wing did not make any bid for a 49 per cent stake in Ber­nama News Chan­nel (BNC), said Malaysian Na­tional News Agency (Ber­nama) chair­man Datuk Seri Az­man Ujang.

He de­scribed the re­ports about the pur­ported sale as merely mar­ket talk.

“The news re­port is mere spec­u­la­tion. And there’s no bid­ding for such a stake as re­ported,” he told NST Busi­ness yes­ter­day.

Lim could not be reached for a com­ment yes­ter­day.

Ac­cord­ing to a news re­port last week, Lim had of­fered RM30 mil­lion for the stake in the loss-mak­ing BNC.

BNC is wholly-owned by Ber­nama.

The re­port said once the deal was com­pleted, Ber­nama would re­main as BNC’s ma­jor­ity share­holder with a 51 per cent stake.

“The tele­vi­sion oper­a­tions are not gen­er­at­ing enough cash to be self-sus­tain­able, thus forc­ing Ber­nama to pump in money ev­ery month for op­er­at­ing ex­pen­di­ture,” the re­port quoted sources as say­ing.

The re­port said Lim was also ex­pected to over­haul BNC’s cur­rent man­age­ment team by bring­ing in in­dus­try ex­perts as man­agers.

The deal, if ma­te­ri­alised, would be Lim’s first ven­ture into the broad­cast­ing busi­ness.

BNC, for­merly known as Ber­nama TV, is a 24-hour news and cur­rent af­fairs tele­vi­sion net­work. It airs news pro­grammes that are re­lated to lo­cal and in­ter­na­tional busi­ness, life­style, sports and en­ter­tain­ment.

A tele­vi­sion talk show on Ber­nama News Chan­nel, for­merly known as Ber­nama TV.

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