Qatar Telecom welcomes decision on Indosat tender offer limit
Qatar Telecom (Qtel) Q.S.C. is pleased that the Indonesian authorities have clarified that Qtel’s ownership of shares in PT Indosat Tbk (“Indosat”) will be permitted up to 65 per cent.
Qtel Group Chairman and Indosat President Commissioner Sheikh Abdullah Bin Mohammed Bin Saud Al Thani said: “The two significant issues concerning our investment, the Supreme Court case and foreign ownership limitations on our shareholding in Indosat, have now been addressed, and we are delighted to have the opportunity to hold a majority of Indosat’s shares.”
“It is our sincere belief that Indosat will be a stronger company with one shareholder holding more than 50% of the shares; this will provide a solid basis for future investment. We believe that Qtel’s investment in Indosat will increase the bond between Qatar and Indonesia.”
Upon receiving formal notice of the clarification from the authorities, Qtel should shortly be in a position to proceed with coordinated tender offers in Indonesia and the United States. Subject to confirmation by the Indonesian market regulator, under the new mandatory tender offer procedures, the offer price for each Series B share will be set at 6,416 Indonesian rupiahs.
Indonesia has already demonstrated its long-term potential as a market for Qtel, with Indosat operations contributing 17% to group revenues for 9M 2008 (post acquisition) and ending the period with 36.3 million customers.
As of Q3 2008, Indonesia become Qtel’s second largest market by revenue, with only Qatar contributing more. With a population of 230 million people – making it the fourth most populous nation in the World – and mobile phone penetration rates estimated at a low 48 percent, Qtel is confident that there is significant scope for continued growth and development.
Sheikh Abdullah Bin Mohammed Bin Saud Al Thani concluded: “Supported by the learnings from other Qtel operations and through ongoing investment, we are confident that today’s ruling opens an exciting new chapter in our international operations.”
“As part of our vision to be one of the world’s top 20 telecommunications operators by 2020, we have committed to continue to expand our operations in the dynamic markets of South East Asia. Today’s ruling is another milestone that shows the progress we are making towards this ambitious goal.”