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Indian firm plans takeover of Indonesian


September 17, 2008

Indian firm plans takeover of Indonesian cement maker
Indian company Nava Bharat Pte Ltd plans to acquire ailing state-owned cement maker PT Semen Kupang, forced to lay off nearly 600 workers and halt operations since May due to financial woes, reported local daily the Jakarta Post.

Nava Bharat is in the final phase of negotiating the purchase of state-controlled Bank Mandiri's 38-percent stake in Semen Kupang.

Interest from the firm is part of Semen Kupang's effort to avoid total insolvency, the cement maker's executive manager Madjid Nampira said in Kupang on Monday.

"I'm optimistic the company will operate again this year because the Indian firm has expressed its eagerness to take over," he said.

Aside from buying the stake from Mandiri, Nava Bharat plans to inject funds into the cement company, thus enabling it to meet its goal of controlling a majority of shares.

According to Madjid, Nava Bharat recently sent a special team to conduct a field survey regarding the legal status of the company, its available raw materials, factory and financial conditions, market share and human resources.

"They plan to raise production from 300,000 tons to 1 million annually in order to meet domestic and export demand," he said, adding his office conveyed the Indian company's wish to acquire Semen Kupang to the central government, which he claimed had given its approval.

"We've had several meetings with the state enterprises ministry to discuss the matter," said Madjid.

Built in 1984, Semen Kupang is the only cement producer in East Nusa Tenggara.

Aside from Bank Mandiri's 38 percent, the central government owns a 61.5 percent stake in the company, with the remaining 1.1 percent held by the PD Flobamor provincial company.

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