Indonesia’s Sinar Mas Group has reportedly acquired a 19% stake in Indonesia’s PT Mobile-8 Telecom for IDR211.4 billion (USD22.5 million), Dow Jones Newswires quotes a company executive as saying. Sinar Mas managing director Gandhi Sulistyanto says the group bought the stake in the CDMA operator priced at IDR55 per share. The transfer of ownership was completed on Wednesday, Sulistyanto added. Sinas Mas hopes the acquisition will create synergy between Sinar Mas’s CDMA-based unit PT Smart Telecom and Mobile-8. ‘If the synergy works well, there’s an option for us to increase ownership in Mobile-8,’ he said. Mobile-8 Telecom had 3.7 million of customers as of 30 September 2009, while Smart had 1.3 million.
TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database reports that Sinar Mas and Mobile-8 began ‘exploring opportunities’ for a takeover in August this year. At the time, the two sides began discussing synergy options that included a possible merger or Smart Telecom acquiring Mobile-8 stock. However, a stumbling block appeared to be the asking price: while Sinar Mas was interested in purchasing Mobile-8, the IDR50 per share price was considered too expensive – especially given the latter’s loss-making status and high debts.