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TelBru moves to wind up B-Mobile

Wednesday, February 6, 2013
Court hearing to be held on February 28.
TELEKOM Brunei Berhad (TelBru) has submitted a petition to the Supreme Court to wind
up B-Mobile Communications Sdn Bhd.
A court hearing has been scheduled for February 28 to discuss the petition, TelBru's lawyers
CCW Partnership said.
"... (Any) creditor or contributory of the said Company desirous to support or oppose the
making of an order on the said Petition may appear at the time of hearing by himself or his
counsel for that purpose," the law firm said in a notice published in local newspapers
The petition was submitted to the Supreme Court on January 26.
The announcement comes just five days after the Authority for Info-communications
Technology Industry of Brunei Darussalam (AITI) said it was "seriously looking into the
public mobile telecommunications service outages and degradation affecting B-Mobile
In a statement released on February 2, AITI, the government agency which licences and
regulates the operation of Brunei's telecommunications infrastructure and services, said voice
calls and SMS remained operational in some areas, albeit at lower service levels than
The regulator said it was taking steps to ensure that B-Mobile "resolves the situation and
restores the provision of telecommunications service to normal levels in favour of the
subscribers and public at the earliest possible time".
Responding to complaints from frustrated customers, B-Mobile issued a statement on January
22 saying that it was "trying its best" to resolve a persistent technical problem which was
causing dropped calls and unsent text messages on its network.
The mobile operator acknowledged that it was experiencing technical problems that has
primarily affected its network and services.

"B-Mobile is trying its best to resolve the predicament with our team working tirelessly to
find a temporary solution. B-Mobile regrets the connection issues and appreciates our
customers' patience and support," the company said.
"Basically, unless TelBru themselves state why they are winding up the company, or unless
we wait until the date of the hearing, it would be difficult to find out exactly why B-Mobile is
winding up," said a lawyer who spoke on condition of anonymity.
Under Chapter 39 of Brunei laws, the court will appoint a provisional liquidator if the petition
is successful. It will then issue a notice to announce that the winding-up order is given to the
Official Receiver, a public officer appointed by the Court to be the liquidator of companies in
compulsory winding up.
The Official Receiver plays the role of a liquidator in compulsory winding up as well as a
regulator in voluntary winding up and compulsory winding up where an approved liquidator
has been appointed.
The Official Receiver is expected to file in a report for the court's consideration and a public
examination before making final arrangements with creditors and contributories in the case of
a wind-up.
TelBru, B-Mobile and CCW Partnership could not be reached for comment.
B-Mobile had opened a new headquarters in Beribi in early November last year, stating that
the move was necessary to accommodate growing staff. At the time, the company had about
150 employees.
Winding up is the process of selling all the assets of a business, paying off creditors,
distributing any remaining assets to the principals or parent company, and then dissolving the
The Brunei Times

Progresif acquires B-Mobile, assures better


Analisa Amu
Tuesday, June 24, 2014
PROGRESIF Cellular Sdn Bhd (PCSB), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Darussalam Assets
Sdn Bhd, announced yesterday that it has acquired the business and operations of mobile
operator B-Mobile Communications Sdn Bhd.
This is the first time that Darussalam Assets Sdn Bhd will be venturing into the
telecommunication business. The company was primarily involved in aquaculture, food
processing and fine glass crystal manufacturing among others.
We have every intention to turn around this operation and make Progresif Cellular a
successful mobile operator in Brunei, PCSB Chairman Hj Abu Bakar Ibrahim said in a press
conference held at the Radisson Hotel.
The acquisition is effective July 1, 2014. Company officials didnt disclose the value of the
Hj Abu Bakar also assured existing B-Mobile subscribers that their services would not be
affected in any way by the acquisition.

Todays long-awaited event is good news especially for loyal B-Mobile customers as their
mobile service is going to be sustained as they learn that their network will be improved over
time, he said.
Hj Abu Bakar said it took them several months to complete the acquisition process. Now that
the acquisition has been completed, Hj Abu Bakar said his companys priority is to improve
the mobile communication network.
A sound technical infrastructure is the backbone of all our operations and our team has
looked for optimum ways to improve our network without compromising on existing
services, he said.
Hj Abu Bakar said PCSB has commissioned and completed a comprehensive technical audit
for its own infrastructure and identified all areas for improvement.
However, this will take time and will be implemented in several stages.
This is a gradual process, and the last thing I would want to do is to mislead our customers
into thinking that drastic improvements will be immediate, he said.
Apart from investing in network upgrades and improvement, PCSB also aims to build a
customer-oriented organisation and strengthen B-Mobiles brand to expand its market share.
Our brand will be the foundation for our growth and sustainability, Hj Abu Bakar said.
The Brunei Times

No disruption to B-Mobile services, assures


A subscriber browses the Internet on his handphone with the help of 3G network services.
Picture: BT file
Al-Haadi Abu Bakar
Saturday, April 5, 2014
SERVICES to B-Mobile cellular network subscribers will be undisrupted as the telco resolves
outstanding issues with its creditors, the Authority for Info-communications Technology and
Industry of Brunei Darussalam (AITI) said yesterday.
The countrys telecoms regulator was responding to the recent notice of creditors meeting
pertaining to B-Mobile Communications Sdn Bhd (B-Mobile) that appeared in the local press
on April 2. The authority considers subscriber interest paramount and will work together
with all concerned parties to ensure that subscribers do not experience any disruption or
interruption to their mobile telecommunications services, an AITI press statement said.
Earlier this week, B-Mobile announced it would hold a creditors meeting on Thursday to
settle outstanding matters with its creditors with the assistance and support of Progresif
Cellular Sdn Bhd. AITI said cooperation between B-Mobile and Progressif Cellular was a
commercial matter and that it would not interfere with the engagement unless subscriber
interest was compromised.
AITI licenses and regulates the operation of Bruneis telecommunications infrastructure and
services. Amongst the functions and duties of the authority is to ensure that
telecommunications services are reasonably accessible to all people in Brunei Darussalam,
and are supplied as efficiently and economically as practicable and at performance standards

that reasonably meet the social, industrial and commercial needs of Brunei, AITI said in the
In a previous report, B-Mobile said the upcoming creditors meeting was an inevitable step
towards bringing issues over the past year to a closure.
The telco added that its services would continue as normal and that subscribers would not be
B-Mobile is Bruneis second mobile operator, providing customers with 3G voice and data
The Brunei Times

Prepaid plans

B-Mobile offers YES! Prepaid service plan for your mobile - the starter pack costs 30
BND / 24.06$: 25 BND / 20.05$ as a license fee and 5 BND / 4.01$ for connection. Once
purchased the starter pack you can used Wap and Mobile Internet at 0.05 BND / 0.04$ per 1
There is another service called YES! ZOOM BROADBAND meant for Data usage only.
The main features of the YES! ZOOM BROADBAND starter pack are:

Internet Access Only Pack

Registration not required

Instant activation, to activate just dial 179 and follow the voice prompt.

Also you get a welcome bonus - 1 day of unlimited local data usage.
There are two options for the starters - you can buy either

Pocket Modem Bundle for 99 BND / 79.38$

YES! ZOOM BROADBAND Starter Pack for 30 BND / 24.06$


Pocket Modem Bundle package includes:

one ZOOM! Pocket Modem;

one 3.5G SIM card;

5 BND / 4.01$ as connection fee;

1 year license fee equal to 25 BND / 20.05$;

one complimentary 4 BND / 3.21$ Top Up Card.

YES! ZOOM BROADBAND Starter Pack package includes:

one 3.5G SIM card;

5 BND / 4.01$ as connection fee;

1 year license fee equal to 25 BND / 20.05$;

one complimentary 4 BND / 3.21$ Top Up Card.

For Prepaid YES! ZOOM BROADBAND you will be charged at 0.05 BND / 0.04$ per 1
To top up your YES! ZOOM BROADBAND you need to buy one of the following top-up
Top-up Amount

Period of unlimited local data access

4 BND / 3.21$

24 hours

8 BND / 6.41$

3 days

20 BND / 16.04$

9 days

35 BND / 28.06$

18 days

Once you've bought top-up card you can top up your account using two methods:

Dial *178#<12-digit recharge code># press Call button and follow the

Send SMS containing 12-digit code from top-up card to 178.

You can check your balance by dialing *180#.

Top-Up cards are available at all B-Mobile Care Centres as well as any B-Mobile authorised
B-Mobile Communications petitioned for winding up @BruneiTweet

So what's this all about then?

TLDR: B-Mobile seems to owe Telbru some money, and hasn't been paying this
off. Telbru petitioned B-Mobile under the winding-up ("bankruptcy" in layman's
terms) rules of Brunei. The court hearing is set for 28 February 2013. If B-Mobile
doesn't cure the fault by then, the court may appoint a provisional liquidator. The
liquidator will then liquidate the company and help the creditors recover some of
their money. Alternatively, the Minister of Finance may choose to appoint an
Executive Manager to turn around the company.
One of three things may happen now - (1) B-Mobile gets rescued by its corporate
backers, or (2) it doesn't get rescued and it goes into liquidation or (3) it gets
turned around.

First off, hats off to James Chiew for writing a very succinct and complete legal
guide to Corporate Liquidation in Brunei. It takes a special talent to be able to
take legal prose like our Companies Order and give it a simple and clear

Let's look at those options again in a bit more detail in reverse order:
This would need a backer to come in and pump in more cash in to the business,
hoping to make some money by turning around the company. Unfortunately, if BMobile was a very profitable business, then we probably wouldn't be at this stage
in time, now would we? This Turnaround situation would need someone with a
very clear plan to turn the company profitable (cut costs, fire staff, reduce those
rentals) and increase revenues (introduce more services, compete in broadband,)

No Rescue - B-Mobile is liquidated

In this scenario, the creditors win and the company's assets get carved up and
distributed to the people who B-Mobile owes money to. B-Mobile probably
doesn't have a lot of assets, and the very useful parts of the business may not be
tangible. Some of these assets may be so specific to the telecom business that
they would be difficult to realise value in a sale to another buyer.

B-Mobile is rescued
By its corporate backers. Again - if B-Mobile was very profitable and there was a
lot of cash, this would have happened a long time before Telbru decided to
petition the court.

The bottom line

Is that I don't want to speculate too much, but the writing is on the wall. TelBru is
rolling out FTTH, and is likely looking at other last mile alternatives. Who wouldn't
want to knock off the competition if they had the chance?
One very interesting thing could happen here though. If we go back to finance
basics ...
... What has happened here is that B-Mobile failed to earn an adequate return on
capital. We say that ROCE < Cost of Capital. This winding up process is a way for
B-Mobile's asset base to be redistributed in to the economy, across different
owners. And by reducing the capital tied up to control those assets (i.e. when
new owners take over the assets, they'll be taking them over at liquidation value
not at going concern value) the new owners have a better chance of earning a
ROCE that > Cost of Capital.
Because that is the crux of it all: Value creation happens when ROCE > Cost of
Capital. And this situation is a great opportunity to unlock some of the Value that
may be tied up in B-Mobile.