The Jakarta Post
State-owned mining holding company MIND ID plans to buy a 20 percent stake of one of the country’s top nickel miners, PT Vale Indonesia (INCO), by year-end in a move that is expected to further strengthen Indonesia’s grip on domestic mineral resources.
MIND ID signed on Thursday a deal to pay Rp 5.52 trillion (US$392 million) INCO’s shareholders, Brazil-based Vale and Japan-based Sumitomo Metal Mining Co. Ltd, to acquire the stake. Vale will receive Rp 4.13 trillion and Sumitomo Rp 1.39 trillion.
The deal brings an end to year-long negotiations between the three companies.
The acquisition has been pushed back for the second time this year due to pandemic-related complications. INCO's shareholders initially scheduled the acquisition for March but postponed it to May amid market uncertainty
“This transaction demonstrates the confidence of global mining companies in MIND ID and Indonesia as a whole,” said MIND ID president director Orias Petrus Moedak on Saturday.
The deal, which values INCO’s shares at Rp 2,780 each, also grants Vale continued “financial and operational control” of INCO, the Brazil-based company wrote on Friday.
“This transaction represents an important development in PT Vale's long presence in Indonesia and reinforces its commitment to keep investing in the region,” Vale added.
With the latest deal, INCO will divest a total 41 percent of its shares. The nickel miner previously divested a 21 percent stake through the Indonesia Stock Exchange (IDX).
Vale, meanwhile, will retain a 44 percent share of INCO. The remaining 15 percent will be held by Sumitomo.
The Brazil-based company is divesting INCO in exchange for being able to continue its mining operations beyond 2025, which is when INCO’s existing contract will expire. Vale’s Indonesian arm operates one of the world’s largest nickel mining operations in mineral-rich Sulawesi.
Such a divestment, mandated by Government Regulation No. 77/2014, is part of Indonesia’s campaign to tighten control over its mineral wealth and thus, boost state revenue.
The Southeast Asian country is among the world’s top producers of nickel, tin and coal.
MIND ID, officially PT Indonesia Asahan Aluminium (Inalum), previously raised $1.5 billion in global bonds to acquire INCO and to pay off its subsidiaries’ debts.
Before INCO, the holding company acquired the local arm of United States-based metal miner PT Freeport Indonesia (PTFI), which operates the world’s largest gold mine in Indonesia’s most impoverished province, Papua.
Stocks of INCO, traded at the IDX, dropped 1.04 percent as of 11:18 a.m. Jakarta time on Monday as the main gauge, the Jakarta Composite Index (JCI), slipped 0.03 percent.