Indonesia’s XL Axiata to sell 7,000 telecoms towers

Indonesian cellco XL Axiata has announced plans to sell at least 7,000 telecoms towers in an attempt to raise $1.5 billion.

The move comes as the company attempts to concentrate on its core mobile phone market in order to focus on mobile internet data services. XL’s tower leasing only generated 4% of its revenue in 2010 at Rp 700 billion.

With the Indonesian mobile market at saturation point the company faces a challenging environment. Mobile phone penetration among Indonesians is thought to be close to 100%. Hasnul Suhaimi, president director of XL expects revenue growth to slow to about 7% for the year compared to 27% growth last year.

Goldman Sachs is advising on the sale and local sources report that three local groups have expressed an interest in acquiring the towers. XL Axiata has been leasing out some of its estimated 10,000 towers while it conducts the sale.

The telecoms tower sale is the second in Indonesia since last week and may indicate a slump in tower revenue across the country. Last week PT Indosat entered a tower sale agreement with Tower Bersama estimated to be worth $500 million.


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