Indonesia approves merger of units of Qatar’s Ooredoo, CK Hutchison

Men look at the logo of Qatar Telecom Ooredoo, as they walk past the company's head office in Doha
FILE PHOTO: Men look at the logo of Qatar Telecom Ooredoo, formerly Qatar Telecom Qtel, as they walk past the company's head office in Doha March 16, 2013. REUTERS/Fadi Al-Assaad

January 4, 2022

JAKARTA (Reuters) – Indonesia on Tuesday approved a $6 billion merger of telco units of Qatar’s Ooredoo and Hong Kong’s CK Hutchison and set a deadline of 2025 for the merged entity to ramp up its services, its communication minister said.

CK Hutchison Holdings and Ooredoo announced in September the deal, which will make the merged entity, Indosat Ooredoo Hutchison, the country’s second biggest telecoms company after state-backed Telkomsel.

The government has already given the merger a principal approval in November.

After the merger, Indosat must increase its tower sites by at least 11,400 by 2025 and expand its cellular services to cover a minimum of 7,660 more villages or districts by 2025, minister Johny G. Plate said in a news conference.

It must also improve its service quality by increasing download and upload throughput by at least 12.5% by 2025, he said.

Indosat has to also return 5 megahertz spectrum to the state within a year after Tuesday’s approval, he said.

“We hope the national telecoms industry will be … more productive and efficient to support the national digital transformation,” the minister said, adding that the merger would strengthen the capital structure of Indosat.

Vikram Sinha, a director with Indosat, told the conference the company is committed to meet the requirements set by the government.

(Reporting by Gayatri Suroyo; Editing by Sanjeev Miglani)