Rumours surface of XL Axiata-Smartfren merger in Indonesia

Rumours surface of XL Axiata-Smartfren merger in Indonesia

Malaysia’s Axiata Group and Indonesia’s Sinar Mas Group are reportedly in discussions over a possible merger of their units in Indonesia.

Citing sources “with knowledge of the matter”, Bloomberg reports that the owners of Indonesian operators XL Axiata and Smartfren are exploring options that could include a merger or network sharing arrangement.

Smartfren President Merza Fachys responded to the report by saying: “Smartfren is open to consolidate or collaborate with other industry players aiming for operational efficiency. However, all parties must get the same benefits.” XL Axiata President Dian Siswarini made a similar comment that the operator was open to “consolidate with any party.”

If the Bloomberg report is accurate, it is likely that the merger talks are a response to last month’s major tie-up which saw Ooredoo Group and CK Hutchison Holdings merge their Indonesian operators Indosat Ooredoo and Hutchison 3 Indonesia (Tri). The newly formed Indosat Ooredoo Hutchison has become the second largest player in the market after state-owned Telkomsel.


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