XL targets four million new subs, looks to refinance debt

20 Mar 2009

Indonesia’s third largest mobile operator by subscribers Excelcomindo Pratama (XL) is looking for USD400 million worth of loans in 2009 to help refinance its debts, the Jakarta Post reports. It is understood the cellco is looking to secure rupiah denominated funding to refinance its mostly US dollar denominated debts. XL finance director Willem Lucas Timmersmans is quoted as saying the firm intends to pay up to USD130 million in debt due this year, while the remainder will be used ‘to accelerate debt payments’ in the next two years. The publicly listed firm has loans of USD300 million maturing in 2010 and 2011, and XL’s plan is to reduce its debt-to-equity ratio, which stood at the level of 4.1 as at 31 December 2008. The cellco was hit hard in 2008 by higher CAPEX levels for network expansion and the impact of servicing dollar denominated loans as the rupiah weakened. It posted a net loss of IDR15 billion (USD1.26 million) last year, compared with a net profit of IDR251 billion a year earlier.

In 2009 XL plans to invest IDR700 million in its network expansion, down from IDR1.25 billion in the previous year. The company has hinted at a planned rights issue to help fund the rollout, although no decision has been taken, it said. Given the weaker economic climate, XL is targeting a more conservative four million net additions this year which, if achieved, would boost its subscriber base to 30 million. TeleGeography’s GlobalComms database writes that XL is 83.8% owned by Malaysia’s TM International through Indocel Holding, 16% by Emirates Telecommunications Corporation International Indonesia and 0.2% is traded publicly.

Indonesia, XL Axiata