(Adds Tower Bersama, comment from XL Axiata, background)
By Fransiska Nangoy and Fathiyah Dahrul
JAKARTA, July 14 Indonesian telecommunication
tower operators PT Solusi Tunas Pratama Tbk and PT
Tower Bersama Infrastructure Tbk are considering
bidding for the tower assets of PT XL Axiata Tbk.
XL Axiata, part of Malaysia's Axiata Group Bhd,
said on July 1 that it plans to sell some of its telco towers
and use the proceeds to pare its debt. It is unclear how many
towers XL Axiata is selling.
Owners of telco towers in Indonesia are increasingly selling
or spinning off these assets to cut capital spending and
maintenance costs. XL Axiata will announce the bidders for its
towers this week, a spokeswoman said.
One telco tower is valued around 1.2 billion rupiah
($103,000) on average, said Chandra Pasaribu, an analyst with
Indo Premier Securities. XL Axiata has 8,000 towers but is
unlikely to sell all of them, Pasaribu said.
"Yes, we are interested to bid for the towers," Solusi Tunas
Pratama Chief Executive Nobel Tanihaha said in an email on
Monday. He declined to disclose more details.
Tower Bersama Finance Director Helmy Yusman Santoso also
told Reuters that the company is interested in XL Axiata's
assets, but "we don't know the valuation yet because we don't
know how many towers will be sold yet."
XL Axiata, which finalised its $865 million acquisition of
Indonesian mobile phone operator PT Axis Telekom earlier this
year, had liabilities totalling 46.3 trillion rupiah ($4
billion) at the end of March 2014, according to its latest
XL Axiata competes with a unit of PT Telekomunikasi
Indonesia Tbk and PT Indosat Tbk.
($1 = 11,645.00 rupiah)
(Writing by Eveline Danubrata; Editing by Ryan Woo)