Indonesian conglomerate CT Corpora and private equity firm General Atlantic have joined hands to enter the fray for buying a stake in Indonesia’s PT Bank Permata, two people familiar with the situation told DealStreetAsia.
The two parties are looking to acquire Standard Chartered Plc’s nearly 45 per cent stake in the Indonesian lender and have made a formal offer, the sources said.
IDX-listed Bank Permata’s market cap stood at just a little over $2 billion at market close on Monday.
CT Corpora is a diversified holding company founded by Indonesian businessman Chairul Tanjung with a presence in sectors such as financial services, media, lifestyle & entertainment, and natural resources.
The conglomerate is understood to own a 58 per cent stake in listed company Bank Mega. It is unclear if CT Corpora plans to acquire the Bank Permata stake directly or through Bank Mega, said one of the people mentioned above. Indonesia’s current regulation bars a single entity from holding a controlling interest in more than one bank.
In response to DealStreetAsia queries, a Standard Chartered spokesperson said the company did not comment on speculation. Meanwhile, emails to CT Corpora and General Atlantic did not elicit a response.
StanChart had in February said its investment in Bank Permata was no longer core, signalling its willingness to divest the stake. According to a Reuters report, Japan’s Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group (SMFG) and Singapore’s OCBC Group were seen as the frontrunners in the race to acquire the Indonesian lender.
Singapore’s DBS was also reportedly mulling a bid. Indonesia’s Bank Mandiri was said to near the acquisition of a stake in Bank Permata in Q2 this year but the transaction was cancelled due to disagreement between the two parties.
It remains unclear if discussions between StanChart and potential bidders have reached an advanced stage. The UK-based bank has not launched an official auction and seems to prefer conducting bilateral discussions with each interested party, the two people said.
Aside from StanChart, the other significant shareholder of the bank is Indonesian conglomerate Astra International, which holds a 44.56 per cent stake. Rumour has it that Astra International may also use the opportunity to pare, or even divest, its stake in Bank Permata.
It is widely understood that any potential buyer of StanChart’s Permata stake would need Astra’s stamp of approval, said one of the people mentioned above.
Astra International’s Corporate Secretary did not respond to DealStreetAsia’s email seeking comments.
StanChart and Astra first invested in Bank Permata when they acquired a 63 per cent stake in 2004 from state-owned Asset Management Company (Perusahaan Pengelola Aset/PPA). Bank Permata was created by a merger of five distressed Indonesian banks after the Asian financial crisis in the late 1990s.