A technician at a base transceiver station of mobile phone operator XL Axiata on Jalan Gatot Subroto in Jakarta. (Antara Photo/Teresia May)

Tower Bersama Seeks to Purchase XL Axiata's Towers

BY :VANESHA MANUTURI

FEBRUARY 01, 2016

Jakarta. Tower Bersama Infrastructure, a telecommunication tower operator, is mulling a plan to buy telecommunication towers belonging to network operator XL Axiata, according to a listing on the local stock exchange on Monday.

Tower Bersama confirmed media reports on Monday saying that it is currently "exploring the transaction" without disclosing any further details.

XL Axiata, the third-biggest operator in Indonesia, recently reported that it was planning to sell between 2,000 and 2,500 towers in an open auction last month, in order to pay off some of the company's debt.

Aside from Tower Bersama, Sarana Menara Nusantara and Nusantara Infrastructure  both of whom are tower operators  have also expressed interest in buying XL Axiata's towers.

The carrier, which has the third-largest number of subscribers in Indonesia, is among several telecommunication firms selling off their assets in order to cut debt amid continued pressure from the depreciating rupiah, as well as to meet capital expenditure and maintenance costs.

Tower Bersama bought 2,500 towers from Indosat, a local affiliate of Qatar's Ooredoo Group, for $406 million in 2012.

Meanwhile, in 2014, XL Axiata sold 3,500 towers for Rp 5.6 trillion ($410.7 million) to Solusi Tunas Pratama who in turn then leased the tower back to XL Axiata for 10 years.

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