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CamGSM deal said to be close

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A customer enters the Cellcard service centre on Sihanouk Boulevard in Phnom Penh earlier this year.

TELEKOMUNIKASI Indonesia’s majority-stake purchase of Cambodian mobile operator CamGSM is nearing the end of negotiations that have lasted almost a year.

“We’re in the final approval stages right now,”  Mark Hanna, chief financial officer at Royal Group, which owns CamGSM, said yesterday.

Hanna would not give a time frame for the closing of the deal, but said negotiations were certainly moving forward.

However, Indonesia’s Ministry of State Owned Enterprises has not granted approval on the Telkom purchase, according to reports yesterday. Telkom, which is majority-owned by the Indonesian government, could not be immediately reached for comment.

CamGSM is Cambodia’s second-largest mobile operator by subscriber numbers, according to figures from the Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications. CamGSM operates it mobile services under the Cellcard brand and reportedly had 2.9 million users as of July.

Telkom’s plans to acquire a majority stake in CamGSM have taken longer than initially expected. The potential deal was announced in late November 2010, with a closing date set for the first quarter of this year, the Post previously reported.

The Indonisian mobile operator completed its due diligence process for CamGSM in May, and officials from Royal Group and CamGSM claimed that negotiation had been ongoing since then.

Telkom’s planned purchase of CamGSM wais part of a 1 trill-ion rupiah (US$116 million) acquisition strategy for 2012, the Indonesian newspaper Kontan reported yesterday.

Telecoms targeted by Telkom  other than CamGSM have not been announced.

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