BT completes acquisition of Frontline
Chua Hian Hou
Tue, Mar 25, 2008
The Straits Times
PROMINENT Singapore businessman Steve Ting's Frontline Technologies has been renamed BT Frontline and delisted from the Singapore Exchange, following its acquisition by a British conglomerate.

Last December, British-based telecoms giant BT Group, formerly known as British Telecommunications, made an offer to buy Frontline for $202 million. The offer, at 24.5 cents per share, was a 17 per cent premium over its then-trading price.

Yesterday, BT announced that it had completed the acquisition, and Frontline, which was originally listed in 2001, is now a wholly-owned BT subsidiary.

BT Frontline, which has 5,000 staff in the region, including 300 in Singapore, provides IT consulting and systems integration services.

BT president for Asia Pacific Allen Ma said the acquisition of Frontline, its third and biggest regional purchase in the last two years, complemented its portfolio of networking and telecommunications services.

BT Frontline chairman Steve Ting said his company will benefit from its parent's bigger balance sheet and global branding.

This, he added, should help BT Frontline secure larger - $50 million to $100 million - deals, up from the $10 million to $20 million contracts it typically gets now, and hopefully propel its $200 million in annual sales last year to $1 billion within five years.

Mr Ma said integrating BT Frontline is expected to take up to two years to complete, and this may include a physical move. BT's office, home to about 400 staff, is in the Gateway office building in Beach Road, while BT Frontline's premises are in Chai Chee.

Key Frontline executives, including directors Shirley Wong, Lim Chin Hu, as well as Mr Ting - long the public face of the company he founded 15 years ago - will stay on for at least two years as part of the deal.

After that, he intends to 'continue to serve, contribute and work towards gaining a foothold and expanding our presence in Asia Pacific'.

Far from 'taking it easy' and enjoying the $25 million that his 101.27 million Frontline shares fetched with the buyout, Mr Ting said he is now 'working harder than ever'. He added that it was, and remains, his intention to make Frontline - now BT Frontline - a global IT player.


  Checklist of must-dos for HDB resale flats
  Caution advised till guidelines are drawn up
  Workfare 2nd round payouts for 262,000
  Big cities run short of petrol and diesel
  Indonesia to ban trade of live poultry in Jakarta
  KL to review subsidies and price controls
  Row in Britain over embryo Bill
  Visa issue denting NY's status as global gateway
  Grim marker: 4,000 US troops killed in Iraq so far
  STI boosted by news that worst of credit crisis is over

Elsewhere in AsiaOne...

Wine,Dine&Unwind: Ramen, rice balls and green tea make the grade for Japan's space cuisine

Travel: Sarawak, Malaysia

Health: Will genital warts affect plans to start a family?

Motoring: COE prices continues upward trend in May

Digital: 80 new Oracle solutions for SMBs unveiled

Business: Make it in China now

Just Women: Luxe girl