Indonesian tower operator PT Tower Bersama is lining up financing of around USD1.8 billion to fund its purchase of telecoms towers belonging to one of the country’s biggest mobile operators, XL Axiata. The Jakarta Post cites the tower company’s financial director Helmi Yusan Santoso as saying that Tower Bersama has already secured USD1 billion in loans and now has the thumbs up from shareholders and the Financial Services Authority (OJK) to issue bonds and sustained bonds worth USD500 million and IDR3.25 trillion (USD277.3 million), respectively. The official says the group will issue the sustained bonds portion in the third of fourth quarter, noting: ‘The combination [of the three financing streams] will facilitate the acquisition of XL’s towers.’
Tower Bersama is looking to acquire XL’s towers through an open bidding process Helmi said, although he did not divulge exactly how many of XL’s 8,000 towers would be under offer – or their value. ‘We don’t know the details of the offer yet. We have signed a non-disclosure agreement with XL, but we haven’t received the terms of reference,’ Helmi said. The mobile operator will use the funds raised through the sale of its towers to pay off part of the USD865 million debt it accrued through its takeover of fellow mobile operator PT Axis Telekom Indonesia in March this year.
To date, there are four publicly listed companies, including Tower Bersama, that are interested in buying XL’s towers. The other three are PT Sarana Menara Nusantara, PT Solusi Tunas Pratama and PT Inti Bangun Sejahtera.