The rupiah has still traded 2.2 percent lower since then, but has been gaining some strength in recent month. (JG Photo/ Dhana Kencana)

XL Axiata to Close $267m Tower Sale Deal to Djarum Group by June


MARCH 30, 2016

Jakarta. XL Axiata, Indonesia's second-largest mobile phone operator by users, is expected to close the sale of its 2,500 telecommunication tower to conglomerate Djarum Group for Rp 3.56 trillion ($267 million) on June 30, a deal paving the way for the company to turn a profit this year.

The company plans to use the proceeds to pay back Rp 3.93 trillion debt due this year, XL Axiata finance director Mohamed Adlan said on Tuesday (29/03).

XL Axiata has been selling off its towers to pare down debt since 2014, as part of efforts to become profitable. The strategy has seemingly worked, with the company narrowing its losses to Rp 25 billion last year from Rp 804 billion a year earlier. Adlan said the company is expected to return to black this year.

Profesional Telekomunikasi Indonesia — unit of Djarum Group's telecommunications tower operator Sarana Menara Nusantara — bought the towers and has agreed to lease back 2,432 of them to XL Axiata, ensuring no disruption to mobile operator services, Adlan said.

Writing by Dion Bisara