Indonesia's state-owned miner Aneka Tambang, or Antam, exited a zinc and lead project by selling its 20% stake to tycoon-affiliated partner Bumi Resources Minerals for $57.3 million.
The divestment is the first major move by Antam to streamline its business portfolio since being reshuffled under a mining holding structure in November. The new structure, in which government ownership in Antam and two other peers was transferred to state-holding company Indonesia Asahan Aluminium, is aimed at boosting competitiveness of state miners in the resource-rich country.
Antam "is committed to maximize shareholder value by focusing on the company's core business development with nickel, gold and bauxite," the company said in a news release on Thursday.
The sale will leave Bumi Resources Minerals, a mining company linked to tycoon and former politician Aburizal Bakrie, with a 100% stake in Dairi Prima Mineral, an underground zinc mining project in North Sumatra. The project was granted a work contract by the Indonesian government in 1998 and is currently in the development stage, according to DPM's website.
The deal signals the resurgence of Bakrie, who stepped down as chairman of the Golkar Party, Indonesia's second largest political party, in 2016, although he still serves as its chief patron. Bakrie was once known as one the country's most powerful tycoons thanks to his interests in coal and other commodities, but companies affiliated with him have been struggling with mounting debt in recent years.
The sale was completed in late December but Antam only disclosed the deal on Wednesday. A spokesperson for Antam declined to comment. Bumi Resources Minerals could not be immediately reached for comment. Antam's shares fell 1.6% on Thursday.
Source: Wataru Suzuki/ Nikkei Asian Review
01 March 2018