Indonesia’s PT Bakrie Telecom is poised to acquire the CDMA assets of the nation’s largest telecoms group PT Telekomunikasi Indonesia (Telkom) in a share swap deal worth up to USD1 billion, Reuters reports citing sources with knowledge of the situation. If concluded, the deal will be the largest seen in the country since Qatar Telecom bought a stake in PT Indosat for USD1.35 billion in 2008. More importantly, it would give Bakrie Telecom a dominant position in the fast-growing Indonesian CDMA market. Under the deal Bakrie Telecom is looking to issue new shares and swap them for Telkom’s CDMA assets worth between IDR7 trillion and IDR9 trillion, the sources claim. Bakrie Telecom declined to comment on the speculation, while a Telkom spokesman merely noted that talks on a deal were ongoing.
In September this year CommsUpdate reported Indonesia’s Minister for State Enterprises, Mustafa Abubakar, as saying that the government backed a tie-up and that a deal could be completed by the end of this year. In June 2010 Telkom confirmed it was considering buying a stake in fellow operator Bakrie through a rights issue, as part of a plan to merge their respective CDMA operations. At the time Telkom commissioner Tanri Abeng was quoted as saying that this option was most likely the only way to successfully complete a merger deal.