The first stage of the process, being handled by Bank of America Merrill Lynch, requests that potential bidders register their interest by the end of today, 17 January 2011.
First Media has around 150,000 subscribers to its pay-TV service, but its broadband business is actually proving more successful, and more profitable, according to Media Partners Asia’s executive director Vivek Couto.
“Broadband is a very high margin business, and obviously Indonesia is a greenfield market for broadband,” says Couto. “But the pay TV business faces strong competition from (direct-to-home) MNC Skyvision which is approaching one million subscribers.” He says the potential for cable TV is inherently limited in that market.
Still a number of companies are believed to be bidding for First Media, including local TV networks SCTV and TransTV, and Couto adds the business is even more attractive as part of a bundled offering.
“The potential there is bundling the broadband with pay-TV or, it would make a lot of sense for wireless companies to be interested, if a local wireless player or broadcast network bought it for a stronger media play," says Couto.