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Indonesia's Para Group eyes $350 Million Global Bond
April 16, 2008
By Janeman Latul and Andreas Ismar

JAKARTA, April 16 (Reuters) - Indonesia's Para Group, which has banking and media interests, said on Friday it aims to raise more than $350 million from a global bond this year to pay for a stake in French retailer Carrefour SA's local unit.

Chairul Tanjung, founder of Para Group, said proceeds from the bond would be used to finance the acquisition of a 40 percent stake in PT Carrefour Indonesia, the local unit of international retailing giant Carrefour. The deal was announced on Thursday.

Tanjung said Para Group will pay $300 million-$400 million for the stake, initially using a $350 million bridging loan from Credit Suisse, Citibank, ING Bank and JP Morgan.

The four banks have also been appointed to underwrite the bond issue, proceeds of which will be used to repay the bridging loan.

"We received a total $350 million of loans from a consortium consisting of Credit Suisse, Citibank, JP Morgan and ING. The funds were used to finance the acquisition," Tanjung told reporters.

"The loan was a bridging loan with a period of 18 months. So hopefully the global bond issue would be higher than $350 million. The proceeds will be used to repay debts and business expansion."

Tanjung, who trained as a dentist before he went into business, founded Para Group, which has interests in banking through Indonesia's mid-sized listed lender Bank Mega. It also owns media unit Trans Media, theme parks, and retail businesses.

Tanjung said the French retailer looked for a local partner after it ran into problems in Indonesia.

"They've had several problems. And after they assessed (the situation) they tried to find local businessmen to help out. They then short-listed local businessmen, from 20, to 10, and eventually the Para Group," he said.

Earlier this year, Carrefour Indonesia won its appeal against Indonesia's anti-monopoly commission which had ordered it to sell its stake in a local firm.

The anti-trust unit, the KPPU, had ruled that Carrefour breached competition laws by using its market dominance to extract bigger discounts from suppliers.

Carrefour Indonesia has about 80 stores in 22 cities across the archipelago and plans to open 13 new stores in 2010.

It competes with Lippo Group's Hypermarket and with retail firm PT Hero Supermarket.
(Editing by Sara Webb and Rupert Winchester)


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