Setdco's president Setiawan Djody told reporters on Wednesday that he had set up a consortium comprising of Setdco and Canadian and Australian companies to take over the stake.He
did not namethe Canadian and Australian firms.
"I am hoping to take control of Merpati by possessing the majority shares in the company.We also will take over Merpati's debts," said Setiawan
said the consortium had sent the acquisition proposal to the Office of the State Minister of State Enterprises
, but the office had not responded yet. He
said the acquisition was based on an intention to boost the performance of the company which had experienced financial troubles for years.
Seeking to dismiss worries among the airlines' workers, Setiawan
promised that no employees would be laid off and the current management would be kept in place if the consortium managed to acquire the stake.
"There won't be any layoffs nor a management reshuffle.I believe Hotasi Nababan (newly-elected Merpati president) is capable and professional," Setiawan
Merpati, which is 93.5 percent owned by the government and 6.5 percent owned by national flag carrier Garuda Indonesia, has been in financial difficulties since 1998.
The airline was forced to return three of its 14 locally assembled CN-235 fixed-wing aircraft to state aircraft manufacturer PT Dirgantara Indonesia, to settle its debts with the company.
In addition, it has grounded its 11 CN-235 aircraft due to decreasing loads, increased competition and economic woes.