Reuters reports that Indonesian telecommunication tower operators Solusi Tunas Pratama and Tower Bersama Infrastructure are mulling options to place bids for the tower assets of domestic mobile network operator XL Axiata, part of Malaysia’s Axiata Group. As reported by TeleGeography’s CommsUpdate, earlier this month Indonesia’s second largest mobile operator by subscribers commenced plans to sell off part of its telecoms tower assets to pay off USD865 million of outstanding debt relating to its purchase of fellow cellco Axis Telekom Indonesia in March.
On 1 July, XL Axiata officially invited firms to bid for a portion of its 8,000 or so towers, with corporate communications VP Turina Farouk telling The Jakarta Post: ‘We’re targeting to complete the selling process in the first half of the year and use the raised funds to pay part of our debt.’ Whilst remaining tight-lipped about the details of the firm’s targets in terms of raising funds and debt repayment plan, TeleGeography notes that XL Axiata took a USD500 million loan from Axiata Group Berhard’s shareholders and the remaining USD365 million from three other banking institutions, namely UOB, the Bank of Tokyo Mitsubishi and DBS. Malaysia’s Axiata Group holds a 66.5% stake in XL, while the public holds the remaining 33.5%. XL, previously the third largest mobile operator in the country, is now the second biggest with 68.5 million customers as of the first quarter, after successfully acquiring Axis.