Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Two strategic investors have expressed interest to invest in PT Merpati Nusantara Airlines to revive the state-owned company that had discontinued operations since February 1, 2014.

"Two prospective investors are ready to enter Merpati. The two are foreign airline companies," Aloysius K. Ro, the deputy for business restructuring of the state enterprises ministry, noted here on Wednesday.

He explained that the divestment of Merpatis shares will be part of the privatization program being proposed by the privatization team committee led by Coordinating Minister for Economic Affairs Darmin Nasution.

"The two companies may possibly cooperate with financial service companies, such as capital private equity companies," he pointed out.

The privatization program will be implemented through three schemes comprising selling shares through an initial public offering (IPO), rights issue, and an exit strategy or selling the shares directly.

"Privatization of Merpati has been underway. I am now seeking directives from State Enterprises Minister Rini Soemarno as Merpatis shareholder," he remarked.

Aloysius declined to reveal the names of the two foreign companies due to confidential reasons as negotiations are still ongoing.

"In essence, they are foreign airline companies, and they could possibly cooperate with financial service companies," he noted.

Before the companies can invest in Merpati, it has to clear its unpaid debts to employees.

"We will first settle our obligation to the employees who have not been paid for two years. In addition, we will also conduct layoffs to reduce the companys burden," he revealed.

A total of Rp350 billion has been made available to pay the debt to employees by PT Perusahaan Pengelola Aset (PPA) as the party handling the restructuring of Merpati.

"It means the obligation to the employees will be settled first before going ahead with the rightsizing process. After investors enter, we will then evaluate it again with regard to spending, and so, we will minimize the costs incurred by the state," he added.(*)

Editor: Heru Purwanto
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