INDONESIA MAY CANCEL AIRASIA'S ACQUISITION OF BATAVIA AIR

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JAKARTA, July 29 (Bernama) -- The Indonesian government may cancel the

acquisition of local airline Batavia Air by Malaysia''s AirAsia Bhd and its

Indonesian partner, if the transaction breaches the ownership limit imposed on

foreign companies in national airlines.

The English weekly, Sunday Post, qouted the Director General of Indonesian

Transportation Ministry Herry Bhakti Gumay as saying that AirAsia and

its partner in the acquisition, PT Fersindo Nusaperkasa, had yet to report

their acquisition to the ministry.

“We will give Batavia, AirAsia and Fersindo Nusaperkasa one month to

report their plan to us. We will cancel the acquisition process if Indonesia is

not the majority shareholder," Herry was quoted saying.

Herry also said the ministry would not hesitate to revoke Batavia Air’s

flight permit.

AirAsia and its Indonesian partner Fersindo, owner of a 51 per cent stake in

Indonesia AirAsia (IAA), signed an agreement on Thursday to buy Metro Batavia,

the owner of Batavia Air, for US$80 million (Rp 756 billion).

According to the acquisition plan, AirAsia would own a 49 per cent stake in

Metro, while Fersindo the remaining 51 per cent in order to comply

with Indonesia''s ownership rule.

Seventy-six per cent of the shares are due to be purchased this year and the

remainder by 2013, the weekly reported.

Previously, AirAsia Group CEO, Tan Sri Tony Fernandes, had said in a

statement that the Batavia Air acquisition was a fantastic opportunity for

AirAsia to accelerate its growth plans in one of the most exciting aviation

markets in Asia; and that it further underlined its belief in the growth

potential of Indonesia’s aviation sector.--BERNAMA

AFY SD

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