The Transportation Ministry says it has not officially been informed of the acquisition of Indonesian Batavia Air by Malaysia’s AirAsia.
“That means it is not yet certain if the ministry will approve the acquisition,” Herry Bhakti, the ministry’s air transportation director general, said here on Friday.
The ministry has yet to determine if the acquisition is in line with the prevailing regulations, such as those concerning the division of Batavia Air’s shares, Herry said.
An Indonesian regulation prevents foreign investors from holding a majority stake in an airline operating in the country.
AirAsia Berhad and Fersindo Nusaperkasa, which are partners in Indonesia AirAsia, were reported on Thursday to have acquired Batavia Air at a price of $80 million.
“After months of negotiations, finally we came to an agreement to develop a relationship between AirAsia and Batavia Air,” AirAsia Berhad CEO Tony Fernandes told reporters in Jakarta.
Fernandes expressed satisfaction with the deal, citing Batavia Air’s strong market position in Indonesia. Through the “perfect marriage,” AirAsia is set to grab a larger share of the Indonesian market, he said.
Fersindo’s president director, Dharmadi, said his company will hold the majority 51 percent stake in Batavia, with AirAsia Berhad to take the remaining 49 percent.
Fersindo also has a 51 percent stake in Indonesia AirAsia, with the Malaysian partner a 49 percent shareholder.
Dharmadi, who is also the president director of Indonesia AirAsia, said acquisition of the whole of Batavia Air’s shares would be made in two phases.
In the first phase, the two partners will acquire 76.95 percent of Batavia Air, to be followed with a second phase for the remaining 23.05 percent share in the second quarter of 2013, he said.