The sale of Commander's telco arm to mystery consortium Commander Telecom Group (CTG) has failed.
(Click for the full email to staff)
The group had entered an agreement to buy Commander's telco division in November, but in a letter to Australian employees today, Commander's receivers McGrathNicol said that the agreement had been terminated.
The reason the sale had collapsed was not written in the letter. It only said that the sale could not be completed at this time. McGrathNicol representatives were not available to comment by time of publication.
The receivers had not given up hope of selling the business, however, saying that it was still in discussions with prospective buyers.
The employment offer for Commander staff to work in the new entity has lapsed, with workers to remain employed with the Commander business at which they currently work. Senior Commander management was set to hold briefings with employees on the matter this afternoon.
The consortium behind CTG was originally described by McGrathNicol as "local and internationally experienced telco investors" that specialised in the information, communications and new media sectors.
An Australian Securities and Investments Commission document search revealed that the directors of a company called NGA Software Corporation had registered CTG, which was listed in Collins Street, Melbourne. The directors of the business, were John Francis Dunell, Khai Tri Hong, and John Peter McCoy.
There was speculation about a possible link in the consortium to Richard Steggall, who had been involved in a failed bid to take over New Tel when it went into administration in 2003. The bid was made via Hong Kong-based Broadband & Wireless Ltd (BWL), which had as its director, Ingrid Lim, Richard Steggall's wife. The consortium denied the link.