Indonesian mobile operators XL Axiata and Indosat are said to be lining up alongside the country’s largest integrated media, broadcasting, entertainment and telecoms group, Global Mediacom (MNC Group), for control of local internet provider LinkNet. Bloomberg cites unnamed people with knowledge of the matter as saying that the three firms have expressed an interest in acquiring a majority stake in Jakarta-based broadband operator LinkNet, which is being sold by its two main shareholders, Lippo Group and CVC Capital Partners Asia Pacific (through Asia Link Dewa). The two collectively own a combined 67.3% stake in LinkNet valued at about USD824 million based on the current share price, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Under local rules, any Indonesia-based enterprise gaining control of a listed company must submit an offer to buy out other minority shareholders.
In March this year TeleGeography’s CommsUpdate reported that Lippo Group – controlled by Indonesian billionaires the Riady family – had approached potential buyers about acquiring its holdings in LinkNet. At the time, MNC Group was linked to a possible bid, which people familiar with the matter say is at a very early stage, although with 413,000 high speed internet customers on its books at end-March 2015, the takeover of LinkNet would be a useful one to MNC as it looks to secure a position in the local broadband market. The media group already owns MNC Kabel Mediacom (MKM) through its Media Nusantara Citra (MNC Media) unit. Founded in January 2013, MKM was established to focus on the deployment of fibre-based network services, using fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) and Gigabit Passive Optical Networks (GPON) technologies. Today, it offers multi-play services – broadband internet, interactive cable TV, voice telephony (VoIP) and interactive new media (e.g. home shopping, home automation) – under the banner ‘Play Media’. Business users are also offered its VSAT Datacomm service.