XL Axiata cleared to buy Axis

Dylan Bushell-Embling
03 Dec 2013
Daily News

Axiata's Indonesian subsidiary XL Axiata has won regulatory approval to acquire smaller rival Axis Telecom for around $865 million.

The Ministry of Communications and Informatics of Indonesia has given written approval for the acquisition, Axiata revealed in a filing.

But the approval comes with the condition that the merged company returns 2x10 MHz of 2.1-GHz 3G spectrum back to the government for reallocation.

Axiata arranged in September to buy the 95% of Axis held by current parent Saudi Telecom Company. As per the deal, XL Axiata will pay just $100 in cash for the purchase, but also assume around $865 million in debt.

Because Indonesia's mobile market is unsustainably overcrowded, the government had already given in-principal approval to an XL Axis merger before a deal was reached.

Elsewhere in the nation, PT Telkom Indonesia was last week forced to clarify that it has no plans to conduct an IPO of its mobile unit Telkomsel in 2014.

Reacting to reports in the Jakarta Globe and elsewhere, Telkom clarified that it has no plans to sell Telkomsel shares.

The reports may instead have misinterpreted a Telkom director, who last week said the company is looking for a partner for its tower subsidiary Mitratel. After finding a partner, the company plans to spin off some Telkomsel towers, so long as it gets the approval of Mitratel minority owner SingTel.

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