With today (30 June) marking the deadline for due diligence, Indosat Ooredoo Senior Vice President of Corporate Communications, Steve Saerang, refused to be drawn on whether the Ooredoo Group-owned company has reached a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with CK Hutchison-owned Hutchison 3 Indonesia (Tri) over a possible merger of their Indonesian businesses. Interviewed by CNBC Indonesia, Saerang confirmed that talks were ongoing but said that ultimately the decision is ‘in the domain of the company’s shareholders’.
As previously reported by CommsUpdate, on 28 April 2021 Qatar-based Ooredoo announced that it had extended the exclusivity period of the non-legally binding MoU with Hong Kong-based CK Hutchison to 30 June 2021, in relation to a potential transaction to combine Indosat Ooredoo and Tri. In a supplemental to its Q1 financials release, Ooredoo confirmed that it is hoped the extension would ‘provide more time to complete the ongoing due diligence and negotiate the final terms of a possible combination of the entities’. The two sides entered into talks to merge their Indonesian units to allow them to better compete with larger players such as state-backed Telkomsel and Axiata-controlled XL Axiata in January this year.
Note: CK Hutchison and Ooredoo have since agreed to extend the period to pursue negotiations on an exclusive basis until midnight, Hong Kong time, on 16 August 2021. In a short statement the Hong Kong firm said: ‘While substantial progress has been made and substantive agreement has been reached on a number of key commercial issues, additional time is needed by the parties to finalise definitive agreements and, once finalised, to seek their respective internal corporate approvals … Pending and subject to such approvals, no decision has been taken to proceed with any transaction.’