Koninklijke PTT Telecom Nederland BV put itself on show in the Hague yesterday, Reuter reports, quoting chairman Wim Dik as We absolutely have to have a US partner, and that he was in talks with almost every telecommunications company in the US. An alliance was the only way for PTT to seize the multi media […]
Koninklijke PTT Telecom Nederland BV put itself on show in the Hague yesterday, Reuter reports, quoting chairman Wim Dik as We absolutely have to have a US partner, and that he was in talks with almost every telecommunications company in the US. An alliance was the only way for PTT to seize the multi media challenge and grow beyond the borders of the tiny Dutch market in the face of fierce competition in a liberalised Europe, he said. We are much smaller and we know it. That brings us to alliances to survive. Unisource BV, the unlisted facilities management venture in which PTT Telecom Nederland owns with its Swiss and Swedish counterparts, will turn to Asia once a US agreement is in place. Unisource could in time draw its partners into full mergers, he said. We don’t exclude marriage. This is an engagement. Dik was also hugely enthusiastic about the challenge of multimedia and the global information highway. It is a fantastic world that will absolutely influence our future. But it is very turbulent.
PTT Telecom has just bought 50% of the pan-European Teleworld interactive teletext company, and is in talks about other similar ventures, he said. The company could become a major borrower of international capital once it is privatised and believes its credit merits a triple-A rating. We could become a very large player in the capital markets, if we find the right investment, chief financial officer Caas Griffion told the meeting. It has $500m or so cash, so has no pressing need to tap the markets – but the coffers would empty overnight if it chose to expand into the multimedia world. It reckons it has lots to offer potential shareholders and, once privatised, will have the independence it needs to compete globally. Our local and international tariffs are among the lowest in Europe, Griffion said, while Dik pointed out that it had been operating as a commercial company for five years and had already made huge strides in shedding its civil service culture. It needs to sever its umbilical cord to the state because it hampers dealings with big multinational clients, Dik said. Our main aim in becoming a private company is to be looked upon as a grown-up dealing with other grown-ups. Griffion said the flotation was progressing according to schedule. The Dutch parliament must finally decide on the number of shares to be offered initially and the finance ministry will then rule on the offer’s pricing. Griffion also repeated an earlier forecast that its 1993 net profit and earnings would be at least as good as in 1992, when the group chalked up a 3.4% profit rise to $800m on $8,500m turnover. That (1992) trend will not be disturbed but will be continued, and income development, despite the very low growth in the national economy, was quite satisfactory in our view (compared with 1993), Griffion said. It is the parent, Koninklijke PTT Nederland NV, which includes the postal system, which is to be floated, sometime before mid-year, and at present between 20% and 30% of the shares are expected to be offered in the first tranche.