Fri, 30 Nov 2001

Bakrie plans share buyback

The Jakarta Post, Jakarta

The Bakrie family plans to buy back its shares in the publicly listed PT Bakrie & Brothers from creditors who took over their shares under a debt to equity deal after the company was declared bankrupt.

Aburizal Bakrie said on Thursday he hoped to reclaim a 25 percent stake in Bakrie Brothers within the next five years.

"Imagine that we once held 100 percent, of course we'll be glad if we are able to raise our stake," he said in a meeting on Bakrie Brother's debt restructuring.

Following four years of negotiation, Bakrie Brothers' more than 150 creditors agreed to restructure US$1.08 billion in debts under a debt to equity and asset swap scheme.

Effective as of Nov. 29, the group's founding family, Bakrie now owns a mere 2.92 percent, with another 2.08 percent owned by the public. Creditors control 95 percent of the company.

Aburizal did not rule out the possibility of seeking new debts to raise his family's stake in Bakrie.

Bakrie's largest creditor is the Indonesian Bank Restructuring Agency (IBRA), which, after the deal, controls a 10 percent stake in the holding company.

Bakrie's units still own debts of $201 million. Aburizal said the remaining debts were manageable and thus left out of the debt restructuring deal.