Jakarta-based PT Saratoga Investama Sedaya is in the midst of acquiring a controlling stake in taxi operator Express Group from PT Rajawali Corpora, a move that will strengthen it investment portfolio.
Saratoga portfolio director Andi Esfandiari said in a statement to the local exchange, on Friday, that the firm had signed an agreement to acquire 1.094 billion shares in PT Express Transindo Utama (known as Express Group) from conglomerate Rajawali Corpora.
This is equivalent to Rajawali’s entire shareholding in Express.
“The acquisition conducted by Saratoga is a direct acquisition by the company from Rajawali Corpora, which currently controls 51 per cent of Express,” he had said.
Neither company disclosed the acquisition value, noting that both companies were still in the process of negotiating the deal. Express shares, which trade on the Indonesia Stock Exchange (IDX) simply as TAXI, shot up 8.5 per cent to Rp 1,155, at which would value the takeover at Rp 1.26 trillion.
Express finance director David Santoso said detailed terms and conditions of the acquisition, including purchase price, were still being negotiated by the two companies.
Once the acquisition agreement with Rajawali Corpora is finalised, Express will strengthen Saratoga’s consumer portfolio, which currently consists of motorcycle distributor PT Mitra Pinasthika Mustika and local lifestyle retailer PT Gilang Agung Persada.
Saratoga, an investment firm with portfolio consisting mostly of infrastructure and natural resources businesses, intends to expand its portfolio in the consumer sector, which is among the fastest growing sector in the country.
The company had said it would set aside between $100 million and $150 million of its internal funds for investment in this consumer sector , in the current year.
Express currently operates a fleet of 11,000 regular taxis in Jakarta, Depok, Tangerang, Bekasi, Surabaya, Semarang, Medan and Padang.
The taxi operator had stated that it aimed to be the top taxi operator in Greater Jakarta within the next two to three years by having at least a 30 per cent market share in the area.
Express reported that its net profit dropped by 10.9 per cent to Rp 118.09 billion last year from Rp 132.6 billion in 2013, mainly due to ballooning expenses.
The top taxi operator in the country is currently publicly listed Blue Bird Group, which operates about 23,900 regular taxis in 17 cities across the country.