Indonesia’s biggest taxi firm eyes US$200m IPO in 2013

Blue Bird Group ( — Blue Bird Group, Indonesia’s biggest taxi operator, aims to raise around US$200 million (RM611 million) in an initial public offering in 2013, when demand for Indonesian equity is seen rebounding from 2012, sources said today.

The Jakarta-based group is looking at a US$1 billion valuation for its businesses, which range from taxis to supply-chain management, and has informally discussed the plan with banks, said one of the sources, who declined to be identified because the talks were not public.

Initial public offerings have been thin in Indonesia this year and the Jakarta stock market has lagged gains in Southeast Asian peers because of high valuations and concerns about the weakening rupiah.

Blue Bird is looking to sell a stake of between 20 to 40 per cent in the middle of next year, said another source, adding the company has said that it has seen compound annual growth rates of above 20 per cent in the past 30 years.

“It will be an easy sell to investors… Look at the roads in Jakarta and other big cities in Indonesia, they are filled with Blue Birds and you always find it hard to get a taxi in the peak hours nowadays,” said one of the sources with direct knowledge of the plan, who declined to be identified because the talks were not public.

A lack of public transport across Indonesia means car and motorbike taxis are commonly used, with Blue Bird cars widely seen by the public as the most trustworthy brand among a host of competitors.

Expansion Plan

Blue Bird, established in 1972 by Mutiara Djokosoetono, has taxi operations in major cities in Indonesia including Jakarta, Bali, and Manado. The firm currently operates 21,000 taxis, according to its website. The company is planning to add around 10,000 new taxis in 2013, sources said.

Blue Bird declined requests from comment. This year Indonesia only saw several small IPOs, the biggest being a US$228 million offering by pay-TV provider PT MNC Skyvision.

Bankers say commodity firms have delayed offerings while consumer businesses are seeing good cash flow on growing middle-class demand, leaving owners seeking pricey valuations to sell. But they expect deals to pick up next year.

By contrast, Malaysia has seen multi-billion dollar offerings by palm firm Felda Global Ventures Holdings and IHH Healthcare Bhd this year, while Thailand emerged as an unexpected fee pool for deal-starved Asia bankers.[]


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