29 Aug 2014
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Indonesian state owned telco to buy into 2degrees

By Heather Wright

Indonesia's largest telco is reportedly about to buy a 27% stake in 2degrees.

Earlier this week, Syarif Syarial Ahmad, the chief executive of Telekomunikasi Indonesia International, or Telin – a subisidiary of Telekomunikasi Indonesia, or Telkom – was reported in Indonesian media as saying the company was negotiating with an unnamed New Zealand telecommunications operator.

Sources close to 2degrees have confirmed to Techday that the Kiwi telco is in negotiations with Telin and Telkom.

Publicly listed Telkom is Indonesia's largest telco and reportedly one of the country's largest company's in terms of market capitalisation. The company is 51% owned by the Indonesian government.

Meanwhile, Netherlands-based Tresbrit BV owns 27.07% of 2degrees, according to Companies Office Records, sparking speculation that it could be the party exiting 2degrees. Tresbit took over the shares of UK-based Communications Ventures Partners in 2011.

Two Degrees Mobile Limited – as 2degrees is officially called – is majority owned by US company Trilogy International New Zealand, with a 58.60% holding. Hautaki Trust, which originally brought the government-discounted frequencies as part of the Maori Spectrum Trust, holds a 10.08% stake, while New Zealand Communications Trustee has a 3.76% allocation of shares.

2degrees founder Tex Edwards also still has a 0.49% stake in the company via KLR, his investment vehicle.

Speculation has been running high for a while that 2degrees was likely to be sold. The company was a late entrant to the Kiwi mobile market, entering a market that was a duopoly between Telecom – now Spark – and Vodafone, and despite some positive inroads, has largely struggled to compete alongside the two, much larger players.

Telin's Syarif also said the company wanted to acquire a 75% stake in an Australian business process outsourcing company, and was planning acquisitions of telecommunications companies in two other Asia Pacific countries.

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