Indonesia media exec says company talking to Disney; tycoon founder denies

FILE PHOTO: The entrance to Walt Disney studios is seen in Burbank, California, U.S. August 6, 2018. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson/File Photo

JAKARTA (Reuters) - The director of the investment arm of Indonesian media group Media Nusantara Citra (MNC) <MNCN.JK > said on Tuesday the group was in talks with Walt Disney Co on a possible investment by the U.S. media conglomerate, but the group’s owner Hary Tanoesoedibjo denied talks were taking place.

MNC Investama Director Darma Putra said at an event organized by MNC that Disney was interested in investing in one of the group’s affiliates.

“Hopefully, we will get another (equity investor) soon. We are in talks with Disney. If it’s successful, it will earn $200 million in the next 10 years,” Putra told an audience that included reporters.

MNC Group founder and chairman Hary Tanoesoedibjo, a business partner of U.S. president Donald Trump, said no talks were taking place with Disney. MNC Group said last year it was building two luxury resorts in Indonesia that will be managed by a subsidiary of the Trump Organization.He told Reuters by telephone there were “clearly no talks with Disney”, adding he would know since he was the “number one guy at MNC”.

Tanoesoedibjo said that negotiations with Vivendi were ongoing and the French company as now looking to buy a stake through its subsidiary Canal Plus in MNC Vision Networks (MVN), an affiliate of MNC.

Tanoesoedibjo also said MVN was planning a public listing to attract investors.

The Indonesian tycoon is known for his flamboyant business style and has previously said he was inspired by Trump.

Disney and Vivendi did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Reporting by Cindy Silviana; Editing by Edmund Blair/Emelia Sithole-Matarise/Jane Merriman