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NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs   15  December 2010

Indonesia's Telkom may acquire Cambodia's CamGSM

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Telekomunikasi Indonesia, Indonesia's biggest telecommunications company, said on Wednesday that it was in talks to acquire a majority stake in Cambodia's largest mobile operator CamGSM in a deal that could be worth more than US$500 million.

The planned acquisition, which values CamGSM at about $1 billion according to a source with knowledge of the deal, would be Telkom's first major acquisition overseas after a failed bid to acquire Iran Telecommunication Company last year.

"I hope that the process of acquisition will be completed by the first quarter next year," said Tanri Abeng, Telkom's chief commissioner.

"We've made it through the bidding process and we're now in talks to get financial details done, but we are surely going to take a majority stake," Abeng said, declining to give any financial details.

CamGSM, established in 1996 between Millicom Group and Cambodia's Royal Group, is the largest mobile operator in Cambodia through its Mobitel and Cellcard brands.

Mobitel's CEO David Spriggs declined to comment on the deal.

Millicom sold its 58.4 percent stake in the firm last year to Royal Group for $346 million in cash.

Telkom's plan to acquire a majority stake in CamGSM is part of the company's strategy this year to find acquisition opportunities in the region as the once-buoyant Indonesian market is starting to mature.

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