Indonesia’s largest wireless network provider, Telkomsel, is deliberating buying USD 150 million of Gojek’s convertible bonds, according to Bloomberg. However, sources said that the discussion is still ongoing with no certainty that a deal will proceed.
The report added that Telkomsel president director Setyanto Hantoro cited non-disclosure arguments when asked about this issue. He said the company continues to seek opportunities to expand its services by building existing resources, borrowing via partnerships, and buying external resources including startups.
Neither company has responded to KrASIA’s requests for comment.
Telkomsel’s parent company, Telkom Indonesia, has been eyeing investment in the nation’s first decacorn—a company valued over USD 10 billion—since 2018 as part of its digital business expansion plan.
The current proposed investment is much smaller than Telkom’s first rumored offering, which reached USD 400 million. At that time, the plan wasn’t approved by the State Owned Enterprise (SOE) Ministry and was postponed. This year, current SOE minister Erick Thohir is more open to the idea.
“Why not, if the company has a healthy business and can complement [Telkom’s] core business?” he told local newspaper Koran Tempo.
Telkom then delegated one of its business units, Telkomsel, to execute the investment plan. So far, Telkom has maintained a good track record in its investments either directly or through its CVC arm MDI Ventures. The company plans to actively invest in startups as part of its digital business expansion and accelerate the digital transformation of Indonesia’s SOEs.
In June, Telkom also appointed Fajrin Rasyid, Bukalapak’s co-founder and former president director, as its digital director.
Telkomsel is the largest wireless carrier in Indonesia, with 171 million subscribers in 2019, according to Telkom’s annual report.