XL Axiata aims to sell 7,000 towers

Dylan Bushell-Embling
telecomasia.net
XL Axiata has become the second Indonesian mobile operator this month to announce plans to sell a large number of its telecom towers.
 
The company, Indonesia's third-largest mobile carrier, hopes to raise 14 trillion rupiah ($1.55 billion) from the sale of 7,000 telecom towers, president director Hasnul Suhami told the Jakarta Globe.
 
He said XL Axiata has appointed Goldman Sachs to arrange a sale, but that so far nobody has expressed an interest.
 
XL Axiata, which is majority-owned by Malaysia's Axiata, currently makes about 4% of its revenue from tower leasing operations. But the company is eager to refocus on its core mobile business, Suhami said.
 
The operator has rough seas to navigate that will require its full attention, as Indonesia's mobile market has reached saturation point. Suhami estimates that penetration of mobile phones among Indonesians is close to 100%.
 
As a result, the operator estimates that revenue growth is slowing to about 7% this year, from 27% last year, he told the Globe.
 
News of the sale comes just over one week after Indonesian tower operator Tower Bersama Infrastructure confirmed it was in exclusive but non-binding talks to buy a number of towers from XL Axiata rival PT Indosat.
 
While Tower Bersama has not disclosed the number of towers that it may buy, Indosat is rumored to be looking to sell up to 3,000 towers for as much as $500 million.

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