Indonesian operator PT Indosat [ISATao.JK], Australia’s Telstra [TLS.AX] and Japan’s NTT [NYSE: NTT] have sold their jointly-owned telco Mitra Global, which operates in Indonesia’s fixed line market, to Canada-based Alberta Telecommunication for USD226 million. Telstra and NTT, which purchased their respective 20.4% and 15.3% stakes in the company in 1995 as part of a plan to expand into Indonesia, have been looking to exit the market since the Asian financial crisis hit in October 1997. The deal will also provide around USD60 million in cash for Indosat, which owned 30.6% of Mitra Global; Indosat plans to use the money for the expansion of its mobile networks in the country. The three operators say they have already signed the sale and purchase agreement with Alberta, but will not receive the cash for around three or four months.
Mitra Global was licenced in 1996 to provide local services to customers in the Central Java area of Indonesia (Region V). At the end of 2002 it claimed to have 646,701 local lines in service and was the country’s sixth largest fixed line operator. Other players in the Indonesian fixed line market include PT Telkom, Pramindo Ikat, AriaWest International,Dayamitra, Bukaka SingTel and Mitra Global’s former owner PT Indosat. At the end of 2002 there was a total of 7.75 million local lines in service in the country, translating to a teledensity of 3.45%.