Indonesian conglomerate Astra International is set to buy all of Pelabuhan Penajam Banua Taka, an East Kalimantan port operator, for as much as Rp 550 billion ($57 million), it announced on Thursday.
The major logistics purchase represents a further sign that Astra is diversifying beyond its traditional area of strength, the automotive distribution business.
Astra will purchase the stakes from three shareholders. Bahana TCW Investment Management owns a 70 percent stake in Pelabuhan Penajam, while Bahana Securities owns 10 percent and individual businesspeople in East Kalimantan hold the remaining 20 percent. Bahana TCW and Bahana Securities are both units of Bahana Group.
“Astra will acquire a 100 percent stake in Pelabuhan for between Rp 500 billion and Rp 550 billion,” Edward P. Lubis, president director of Bahana TCW, said in Jakarta on Thursday.
Officials at Astra International, which will buy the port operator through its infrastructure and logistics unit Astratel Nusantara, were not available for comment.
Pelabuhan Penajam operates the Eastkal Port Supply Base in Penajam, East Kalimantan, which will be used to ship coal and crude palm oil. Construction of the port began four years ago. State construction company Pembangungan Perumahan (PTPP) is handling the project.
As well as its infrastructure and logistics division, Astra International also has units focused on the automotive sector, financial services, heavy equipment distribution, agribusiness and information technology.
Astratel has sought to capitalize on the government’s increasing spending on infrastructure development projects, such as ports and toll roads.
Last year, Astratel bought a 95 percent stake in Marga Hanurata Intrinsic for Rp 750 billion. Marga Hanurata, a toll-road operator, administers the 41-kilometer toll road connecting Kertosono and Mojokerto on the outskirts of Surabaya.
Astra International has yet to announce its 2012 financial results, though the figures are expected to be made public within weeks.
Net income at the company reached Rp 14.7 trillion in the period from January to September last year, up 9 percent from the same period in 2011. Revenue rose 20 percent in the period to Rp 143 trillion.
Astra, which has a market capitalization of Rp 313.7 trillion, brings in most of its revenue through its automotive business, though it has been boosting its other businesses, including infrastructure.
Indonesia’s auto sales climbed 26.5 percent in January to 96,656 vehicles, marking a strong start to the year after a record 2012 underpinned by sharp increases in wages and low interest rates.
Astra sells popular brands including Toyota, Daihatsu and Isuzu, giving it a 55 percent share of domestic car sales from January to September last year.
Its main rival in the automotive industry is Indomobil Sukses Internasional.
Shares in Astra closed flat at Rp 7,750 on in Friday trading in Jakarta, compared with a 0.5 percent gain in the main stock gauge.