The parent companies of Indonesian operators XL Axiata and Smartfren Telecom have reopened discussions to merge telecom operations in Indonesia, reported Bloomberg.
Sources speaking to the publication said Axiata and Indonesian conglomerate Sinar Mas Group are working with advisors to weigh up a potential tie-up. Another option the two are open to is a network-sharing agreement or partnership. Discussions are currently in the preliminary stage with no concrete deal yet.
Rumours of the merger/ partnership first surfaced in 2021, with Smartfren President Merza Fachys telling media the operator was open to consolidation and collaboration with the aim of operational efficiency. XL Axiata President Dian Siswarini made similar comments.
Axiata Group recently outlined a strategy to cut down its mountainous debt pile brought on by overseas expansion, including acquisitions in Indonesia and the Philippines.