Exclusive: Indonesia's CT Corp proposes all-cash deal for Bakrie's media unit

Fri Mar 29, 2013 5:06am EDT
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By Janeman Latul and Randy Fabi

TANJUNG BENOA, Indonesia (Reuters) - Indonesia's fifth-richest man has proposed to buy a controlling stake in PT Visi Media Asia, valued at up to $1.8 billion, in an all-cash deal that would give him the lion's share of the TV advertising market in Southeast Asia's biggest economy.

Chairul Tanjung, the billionaire founder and chairman of CT Corp, a conglomerate with banking and media interests, told Reuters that his company wanted to buy the stake in the media unit of Indonesia's powerful Bakrie family without any partners.

The purchase would add Visi Media's (VIVA.JK: Quote) two television stations to the two that CT Corp already owns, giving Tanjung's company a market share of more than 40 percent by TV ad revenue. Media companies are eyeing growth in the overall advertising market - worth $1.7 billion in 2011, according to the latest government data - on the back of Indonesia's rapid economic expansion.

"We are one of the preferred bidders. Our proposal is we want to buy it all ... my pocket is still deep," the 51-year-old Tanjung said in his hotel room on the resort island of Bali, shortly after meeting with the president and cabinet ministers in his role as head of the president's economic advisory body.

"(It is) only us that can pay cash one hundred percent ... but the deal is not done yet."

Tanjung said CT Corp would take out a new loan to buy the Visi Media stake. He declined to say how much the company would borrow for the deal.

Indonesia's politically influential Bakrie family has been in talks to sell around a 51 percent stake in Visi Media to help finance a plan to buy back coal assets from London-listed Bumi Plc BUMIP.L, sources with direct knowledge have told Reuters.

The Bakries had originally been looking for a valuation of $1.2 billion to $2 billion for the unit, but the sources said it would be worth up to $1.8 billion. The talks have been going on for the past three months with local bidders including CT Corp and MNC Group, the sources said.   Continued...

Founder and chairman CT Corp Chairul Tanjung smiles as his sits in front of his portrait at a book shop during his book launch in Jakarta July 2, 2012. REUTERS/Beawiharta