Lippo Said to Approach Buyers for $500 Million Link Net HoldingFathiya Dahrul, Joyce Koh and Jonathan Browning
Lippo Group, controlled by Indonesia’s billionaire Riady family, has approached potential buyers for its holding in Internet provider PT Link Net Tbk valued at about $500 million, people with knowledge of the matter said.
Lippo has sounded out interest in the stake from potential acquirers including Indonesia’s largest media company MNC Group, the people said, asking not to be identified as the information is private. Lippo’s PT First Media Tbk unit is the largest shareholder of Link Net with a 33.8 percent stake, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
James Riady, Lippo’s chief executive officer, is pursuing a sale after a nearly fourfold increase in Link Net shares in order to invest in Lippo’s other businesses like property and e-commerce, according to two of the people. CVC Capital Partners Ltd., which owns 33.5 percent of Link Net, may also sell its stake if a buyer offers an attractive price, the people said.
Discussions are at an early stage and no formal sale process has been started yet, two people said.
John Riady, a director of Lippo Group, and President Theo Sambuaga didn’t immediately respond to mobile-phone text messages seeking comment. MNC Group Corporate Secretary Syafril Nasution didn’t answer phone calls and a text message seeking comment, while a representative for CVC declined to comment.
MNC Group controls PT Media Nusantara Citra Tbk, a $3 billion broadcaster, as well as Indonesia’s largest pay-TV operator PT MNC Sky Vision Tbk and free-to-air television channels, magazines and radio operations.
CVC first invested 2.35 trillion rupiah ($180 million) in Link Net in 2011. The private-equity firm, Lippo and other investors sold 30 percent of Link Net for about $450 million in October last year, after cutting the size of the offering due to market volatility, people with knowledge of the matter said at the time.
Link Net raised $42 million in its June initial public offering, data compiled by Bloomberg show.