Commission rejects merger proposal


THE proposed merger between Air Niugini and PNG Air has been shelved because of the potential loss of jobs, says State Enterprises Minister Sasindran Muthuvel.
He told Parliament yesterday the proposal had been rejected by the Independent Consumer Competition Commission (ICCC).
He said a letter from the ICCC confirmed it had rejected the proposal to merge Air Niugini and PNG Air because PNG Air workers could lose their jobs.
“It will see the loss of jobs and loss of creditors which (include) many SMEs,” he said.
Muthuvel said PNG Air could lose its majority shareholder (40 per cent) nasfund and the investment of close to K70 million plus a K45 million loan.
“When you are talking about liabilities in the amalgamation of companies, you are taking of assets and liabilities,” he said.
He said the letter from the ICCC confirmed that merger was off the table meaning each company “has to survive on its own to manage the Covid-19 situation”.
He said the merger between Water PNG and Eda Ranu would go ahead as it would see savings of almost K14 million and a potential annual net profit of K100 million.
The merger between bmobile and Telikom needs K18 million to complete.