Indonesia has ‘no clear structure’ for a Freeport deal yet – by Fergus Jensen and Wilda Asmarini (Reuters U.S. – November 23, 2017)

JAKARTA (Reuters) – Indonesia’s Ministry of State-Owned Enterprises, tipped to oversee an acquisition of a majority stake in the local unit of Freeport-McMoRan Inc, has “no clear structure” yet for the deal, a ministry official said on Friday.

Under a framework agreement announced in August, Phoenix, Arizona-based Freeport said it would divest 51 percent of PT Freeport Indonesia (PT-FI), but there has been little progress since then.

Freeport, operator of Grasberg, the world’s second-largest copper mine, also agreed to build a second smelter in Indonesia and to invest up to $20 billion in expansions.

Fajar Harry Sampurno, the deputy minister for state-owned enterprises, said it was not clear yet what role state pension funds and state-owned banks would play in financing the acquisition, amid ongoing discussions on the matter with the Ministry of Finance and Freeport.

Sampurno added that the interests of Rio Tinto, which is a joint-venture partner with Freeport in Grasberg, still needed to be factored into government plans to acquire a 41.64 percent stake in Freeport Indonesia, which would add to the 9.36 percent it already holds.

For the rest of this article: