IBRA sells remaining stake in Hong KongÆs First Pacific

The Indonesian Bank Restructuring Agency and Holdiko, a holding company it created to dispose of the Salim companies, sold their stake in Salim-connect, Hong Kong-based First Pacific.
PT Holdiko Perkasa (Holdiko) announced Tuesday that it has sold its remaining 0.8% shareholding in First Pacific Co. Ltd., a regional conglomerate listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, for a gross of $8.55 million, or approximately Rp80.3 billion.

Holdiko’s 25.919 million shares were placed via lead manager ING Barings at HK$2.575 per share, representing a 5.5% discount to Monday's close and a 1.6% discount to an average closing price in the two weeks up to and including February 12. .

“IBRA [the Indonesian Bank Restructuring Agency] remains committed to implementing its asset disposal program for this year," remarks Dasa Sutantio, director AMI-IBRA. "For the first quarter of 2001, Holdiko will focus on completing disposals carried over from last year’s schedule. This transaction concludes the sale of IBRA and Holdiko’s entire ownership in First Pacific, raising gross proceeds of $77.5 million.”

IBRA and Holdiko sold a combined 6.1% stake in First Pacific last August for $52 million, at HK$2.28 per share. On 3 October, Holdiko then sold a further 2.0% stake for $17 million, also at HK$2.28. The sale of First Pacific’s 0.8% ownership marks Holdiko’s first asset sale this year.

Scott Coffey, director of Holdiko says: “With this sale, there should no longer be an overhang in the market over First Pacific’s share price.”

Coffey further explains that Holdiko is currently in the due diligence phase for the sale of its four coal companies, and is in various preparatory stages for the sale of its ownerships in Indomaret (mini-market store chain); Indosiar (television company); Kerismas (galvanized iron sheet group of companies); Indopoly (BOPP/packaging film manufacturing); and Sulfindo (vinyl-alkaly production).

“Next month, together with IBRA, Holdiko hopes to announce an additional list of assets for disposal in 2001,” Coffey adds.

First Pacific, a Hong Kong-based conglomerate founded in 1981, owns and operates businesses in consumer, telecommunications, property and banking, employing a workforce of over 80,000 in 15 countries. Its investments lie primarily in Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand and Hong Kong. A constituent of the Hang Seng Index, First Pacific’s shares are listed in Hong Kong, and are available in the US through American Depositary Receipts.

PT Holdiko Perkasa was established in relation to the settlement between the Salim Group and IBRA with regards to loans extended by PT Bank Central Asia (BCA) to companies affiliated to the Salim Group. As part of the settlement agreement with IBRA, the Salim Group transferred shares and assets in more than 100 operating companies to PT Holdiko Perkasa.

As direct and indirect shareholder of these companies, it is Holdiko’s responsibility to supervise each individual company with the aim of disposing of a sufficient amount of those shareholdings. Holdiko will subsequently direct the disposal proceeds to IBRA as part of the settlement agreement.

IBRA is an Indonesian government agency established at the beginning of 1998 as the primary agency to oversee the rehabilitation of the financial sector. IBRA is authorized to take over and control troubled banks and dispose assets and collateral.