KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 1 — Media giant Media Prima Bhd has confirmed today that it is undergoing a “business transformation” that includes a change in corporate model and internal restructuring, amid rumours of a new round of lay-offs.
In a statement, it said that the move, which will be completed by the first quarter of next year, is aimed at making itself more competitive and sustainable in the future, amid the uncertain economy and shifting global media landscape.
“The group will ensure all workforce affected from this transformation to receive fair and just compensation accorded to them by law and their own unions, which will be paid in full after they complete all legal obligations.
“Media Prima will also provide support services to all workforce including outplacement and career counselling service,” it said.
Earlier today, financial paper The Edge reported that a meeting among heads of departments was called this afternoon to discuss the outcome of a board of director’s meeting earlier today.
This came amid rumours that as many as one-third of its staff were to be retrenched.
As a result, its shares fell to 35 sen per unit at market closing today, the lowest since June this year.
On October 9, it was reported that Aurora Mulia Sdn Bhd, linked to tycoon Tan Sri Syed Mokhtar al-Bukhary, had gained close to one-third of its stake.
Last year, its subsidiary and TV3 station operator, Sistem Televisyen Malaysia Bhd, retrenched 190 employees by giving them three months’ notice, while mutual separation schemes were offered to 43 others.
In the second quarter of the year, Media Prima posted a net loss of RM8.83 million, as traditional revenue segments, including publishing and television networks, have seen lower contributions.
It has seen a string of quarterly losses since the third quarter of 2016, with the exception of the fourth quarter of that year, and the second and fourth quarter of 2018.
Media Prima owns the New Straits Times Press (Malaysia) Berhad, with the newspapers New Straits Times, Berita Harian and Harian Metro under it, as well as four television channels, TV3, NTV7, 8TV and TV9.