Qatary' Ooredoo Q.P.S.C has signed an exclusive and non-legally binding memorandum of understanding (MoU) with CK Hutchison, a telco firm from Hong Kong - Photo by the Company

JAKARTA (TheInsiderStories) – Qatary’ Ooredoo Q.P.S.C has signed an exclusive and non-legally binding memorandum of understanding (MoU) with CK Hutchison, a telco firm from Hong Kong, said the management on Monday (12/28). The deal in connection with the potential merge of the Indonesian unit, PT Indosat Ooredoo Tbk (IDX: ISAT) and Hutchison 3 Indonesia (Tri).

“The exclusivity period of the MoU is valid until April 30, 2021. Ooredoo would like to emphasize that no binding agreement with respect to possible combinations has been made as of the date of this announcement. (We) will make further announcements if needed,” wrote the statement.

It said, the company is currently in the early stages of assessing the benefits of this potential transaction.

In 2019, Hutchinson has announced a planned to acquire one of three mobile operators in Indonesia. It said the operator eyed the listed companies, such as PT XL Axiata Tbk (IDX: EXCL), Indosat, and PT Smartfren Tbk (IDX: FREN).

The company’s deputy director, Danny Buldansyah, revealed the company has not been able to determine which of the three companies will be collaborated with. However, he went on, the company was open to the possibility of acquisitions and mergers.

While, CK Hutchison has approached Malaysia’ Axiata Group Berhard on the potential merger of their Indonesian units with XL Axiata. The discussion was set up after Axiata had ended the discussions with Norway’ Telenor ASA regarding a non-cash combination of their telecom and infrastructure assets in Asia.

Ooredoo is the major shareholders of the issuer by holding around 65 percent of the provider. Since 2016, the Indosat’ parent aimed to sell or merge the unit with other telco operators but there are no deal until now.

While, Hutchinson Asia Telecom (66 percent) and PT Tiga Telekomunikasi (33 percent), which are affiliated with Thohir family, became the shareholders of Tri after injected fresh capital around Rp47 trillion (US$3.33 billion) in 2019. Thohir entered Tri Indonesia in 2013 by forming a consortium with Patrick Walujo, the founder of Northstar Group.

In 2019, Hutchinson and Malaysia’ Axiata Group Bhd talked on the potential merger of its unit with PT XL Axiata Tbk (IDX: EXCL) but the deal has aborted. Apart from Tri, this Hong Kong conglomerate supported by tycoon, Victor Li, is also partnering with a state-owned port company, PT Pelabuhan Indonesia II in the Jakarta International Container Terminal.

CK Hutchison Group is a company founded by Hong Kong conglomerate Li Ka-Shing. Beside Indonesia, in Vietnam the company run HAT operation since October 2016 and operates mobile services under the brand, Vietnamobile. Then, Hutchison Telecommunications Lanka (Private) Ltd. joined with Etisalat Lanka (Private) Ltd run Hutch Sri Lanka with majority stake of 85 percent.

Indonesian government is planning to consolidate telecommunication companies to only three players left. So far, there are still five telecommunications industry players in the country. It hope there would be consolidation through acquisition or merger among players so only two to three players remained.

US$1: Rp14,100

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