Mustafa: Review Flexi-Esia merger

PONTIANAK: Ahead of the Extraordinary Shareholders General Meeting (RUPSLB) of PT Telekomunikasi Indonesia Tbk (Telkom) today, State Minister for State-owned Enterprises (SOEs) Mustafa Abubakar asked the operator to review the merger plan between Flexi
Wandrik Panca Adiguna
Wandrik Panca Adiguna - 17 Desember 2010  |  03:48 WIB

PONTIANAK: Ahead of the Extraordinary Shareholders General Meeting (RUPSLB) of PT Telekomunikasi Indonesia Tbk (Telkom) today, State Minister for State-owned Enterprises (SOEs) Mustafa Abubakar asked the operator to review the merger plan between Flexi and the Bakrie Group-owned Esia.

Mustafa made the statement in response to the increased resistance of Telkom employees to the merger plan. He even asked the management not to realize the merger if the condition was not favorable."Everything has to be communicated well to the relevant parties, including employees. However, we believe the board of directors will be able to make the best decision," he said yesterday. According to him, the discussion about the merger between the two code division multiple access (CDMA) operators would continue after new boards of directors and commissioners were named at the RUPSLB today. At the RUPSLB, confided one Bisnis source, former Minister of Transportation Jusman Syafii Djamal would nearly be a sure thing to substitute for Tanri Abeng as the President Commissioner of Telkom. Johnny Swandi Sjam (former President Director of PT Indosat Tbk) and Rudiantara (former Vice President Director of Semen Gresik and PLN) would also be named commissioners. In addition to Tanri Abeng, other commissioners of Telkom at the moment are Bobby A.A Nazief, Mahmudin Yasin, and P. Sartono. The source added the board of directors probably would not change. The board of directors consists of Rinaldi Firmansyah (president director), Sudiro Asno (financial director), Faisal Syam (human capital & general affair director), Nyoman Wiryanata (consumer director), Ermady Dahlan (network & solution director), Arief Yahya (enterprise & wholesale director), Prasetio (compliance & risk management director) and Indra Utoyo (IT director). "The RUPSLB probably will also decide on the term of the new commissioners. They will start working in January 2011 to make administrative process easier. Telkom is the only one doing such a thing," informed the source. In response to Mustafa's statement, Vice President Public & Marketing Communication of Telkom Indonesia Eddy Kurnia disclosed the merger plan might be cancelled if several clauses offered by Telkom could not be fulfilled by one of the involved parties. "The options for the corporate action are go or no go. I underline there that there will not be any decision made on the action until the yearend.What is certain, we will put into account various aspects and will conduct a comprehensive review to do this since we previously have discussed this with other telco operators," he said, referring to PT Indosat Tbk, PT Mobile-8 Telecom Tbk and other operators. Separately, Services Director of PT Bakrie Telecom Tbk Rakhmat Junaidi said the company was still discussing the matter with Telkom. "What is certain, we will follow the process [that Telkom wants]. We will also uphold the principle of good corporate governance," he told Bisnis. Yesterday, one day prior to the RUPSLB, thousands of Telkom staged a rally rejecting the merger between Flexi and Esia. Not to sell assets The employees also urged the government not to sell state assets, such as Flexi. The Telkom labor union calculated that Flexi at the moment had a book value of IDR9 trillion, which could increase considering other variables. Such a value will be higher than Esia's asset value of only IDR8 trillion. "We ask President SBY to cancel the merger plan since its realization will be similar to selling state asset to a private party. We suspect the merger will be followed by sales to foreign parties," argued Chairperson of the Telkom Labor Union (Sekar Telkom) Wisnu Adhi Wuryanto. An analyst at PT Samuel Sekuritas M. Alfatih said the merger between Telkom and PT Bakrie Telecom Tbk would not be smooth on the Business Competition Supervisory Commission (KPPU) Regulation."There is a possibility that the corporate action will be curbed by the KPPU regulation." However, Alfatih viewed the telco sector at the moment would face great challenges, such as tight business competition since there were numerous players competing in the sector. "The market players are still waiting for the follow-up to the corporate action since it will affect the stock market performance." He opined Telkom's decision of replacing several commissioners with seasoned figures in the telco industry was one of the strategies to bolster its performance. According to him, if Telkom only counted on the market, such as the fixed line market, the challenge would be hard. It was why Telkom now moved toward TIME (telecommunication, Internet, Multimedia, Edutainment). Yesterday, Telkom share closed at IDR7,750 per share, down by 50 points. On the other hand, BTEL rose 5 points to IDR240, creating a market cap of (IDR6.83 trillion. (09/roy/wiw)

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