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malone to move on new tel carcass

  1. Billy Gatess

    5,609 Posts.

    Malone to move on New Tel carcass

    By Fran Spencer

    FORMER New Tel chief executive Peter Malone has set his sights on creating a new telecommunications play from the ashes of the failed Perth carrier, with plans to bid for the assets of his former company.

    The move comes as Mr Malone, along with other New Tel directors, is expected to come under close scrutiny from New Tel liquidator Phil Carter as he investigates allegations the junior carrier had traded while insolvent for up to 12 months.

    New Tel was placed in liquidation on Monday by Australia's biggest telcos, the company's major creditors, after they rejected a proposal for a deed of company arrangement from persistent suitor Broadband & Wireless.

    Former PricewaterhouseCoopers Asia-Pacific head David Humann, who had been engaged as an adviser by BWL on the unsuccessful proposal, yesterday said he had spoken to Mr Malone regarding New Tel assets.

    "Peter is trying to organise a new entity for a fresh start," he said.

    Mr Carter had told journalists that Mr Malone had been involved in the second of three bids for New Tel put forward by BWL.

    However, BWL front man Richard Steggall last week denied the Hong Kong group had had any commercial involvement with the former New Tel head since the group went into administration in December.

    Mr Malone was thought to have walked away from the company amid speculation he could face charges over the alleged insolvent trading.

    But when contacted in Sydney yesterday, Mr Malone confirmed he was planning to bid for New Tel assets with a view to establishing a new telco play.

    "I think, based on what happened on Monday, there's certainly that opportunity for us now . . . I think everyone's realised it was just a bit of a decoy about all those other issues by the administrator just to get the business into liquidation so he's got a business to run," he said.

    "I think (Mr Humann) and myself will now sit down and take a look at what we can do together with some of the assets that will be available."

    Mr Malone declined to discuss other issues surrounding New Tel's collapse, but said he would expand on his plans on his return to WA next week.

    January 16, 2003

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