Qtel seals $1.8bn Indosat stake deal
Doha, June 23, 2008
Qatar Telecom (Qtel), the national telecommunications provider, on Monday announced the completion of the purchase of a 40.8 per cent stake in PT Indosat Tbk (Indosat) from Asia Mobile Holdings for $1.8 billion.
The company said in a statement that it had acquired the Indonesia Communications Limited (ICLM) and Indonesia Communications Private Limited (ICLS), which together hold a 40.8 per cent interest in Indosat.
However, the Indonesian stock exchange has asked Qatar Telecom to buy the rest of the company's shares as per the country's M&A laws.
Under this law companies buying at least 25 per cent in an Indonesian company must launch a tender offer to buy the remaining shares, the bourse said in a statement.
'Qatar Telecom had agreed on Saturday to buy a 40.8 percent stake held by Asia Mobile Holdings, its venture with Singapore Technologies Telemedia, a unit of Temasek, the Singaporean government investment fund. That move led to the requirement for Qatar Telecom to offer to buy the rest of Indosat's shares,' said Erry Firmansyah, president director of the Indonesian stock exchange.
The trading in Indosat shares was suspended indefinitely after the exchange said it would ask for more clarification on the transaction.
Qtel, meanwhile clarified that it may be required to commence a tender offer to acquire the outstanding shares of Indosat.
The company is currently in discussions with the Indonesian Capital Market and Financial Institution Supervisory Board (Bapepam-LK) regarding the application of Indonesia’s mandatory tender offer rules on Qtel.
Qtel said it would announce its plans with respect to any tender offer for Indosat shares based on the outcome of such discussions with Bapepam-LK. The Qatari firm has clarified that it intends to comply with applicable Indonesian rules and regulations.-TradeArabia News Service