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Setiawan Djody to Acquire Merpati?

Flamboyant Indonesian Businessman Reported in a Move to Purchase 90% Share of Ailing Carrier.

(4/22/2002) Shipping and telecommunications magnate and sometimes concert rock musician, 53-year-old Djody Setiawan is reported to be lobbying the Indonesian Government for permission to acquire a 90% share in government-owned Merpati Nusantara Airline (MZ).

Setiawan, the owner of the Setdco Business Group, has proposed a direct cash and non-direct cash deal that will inject US$ 1 billion into the debt burdened airline resulting in his control of 90% of the airline's shares. Under a debt to equity swap Setdco will reduce some of MZ's staggering Rp. 1,7 trillion debt that currently reside on a balance sheet showing only Rp. 800 billion in company assets. MZ operates an aging fleet of equipment operated by some 4,000 workers on its payroll.

According to local news sources, Setdco's takeover, if approved by the Government will allow the new majority owner to introduce badly needed new equipment on MZ's domestic route as well as fulfill its declared intention to spread its wing on selected international routes.