DUBAI/JAKARTA Dec 14 PT Axis Telekom Indonesia,
controlled by Saudi Telecom Co, is planning to sell
1,600 telecommunication towers worth around $300 million, three
sources with direct knowledge of the matter said on Friday.
The Indonesian unit of the Gulf's No.1 telecom operator is
in talks with PT Tower Bersama Infrastructure and PT
Sarana Menara Nusantara who are bidding for the
towers, said the sources.
"The discussion is ongoing and it is expected the
transaction will be completed by the first half of next year,"
said one of the sources with knowledge of the plan, who declined
to be identified because the talks were not public.
The source said proceeds from the sale will be used for debt
refinancing and investment.
Axis Telekom and Sarana Menara were not immediately
available for comment, while Tower Bersama declined to comment.
Axis launched in 2008 and has gathered 16 million customers
for phone and internet services, making it a small player
compared to Indonesia's biggest mobile operator, PT
Telekomunikasi Indonesia's unit PT Telkomsel, which
has 110 million customers.
The deal would be the second major tower sale in Indonesia
after the nation's second biggest mobile phone provider PT
Indosat sold 2,500 towers for $406 million to Tower
Bersama this year.
(Reporting by Dinesh Nair in DUBAI and Janeman Latul in
JAKARTA; Additional Reporting by Fathiya Dahrul and Andjarsari
Paramaditha in JAKARTA; Editing by Neil Chatterjee)