Indonesian operator XL Axiata sold tower assets valued at IDR4.05 trillion ($296 million) to two local tower companies, as part of moves to cut debt.

Profesional Telekomunikasi Indonesia (Protelindo) won a tender for 1,728 towers, while Centratama Menara Indonesia (CMI) acquired 1,050. The deals also include leasing land owned by XL.

CMI, which manages 2,124 towers in the country, said the acquisition would generate an additional IDR215 billion in revenue each year, IDN Financials reported.

XL, which is 66.5 per cent owned by Malaysia-based Axiata Group, began seeking buyers for some of its 4,400 towers in September 2019, in an effort to reduce debt and raise funds for network investment.

In 2014, the operator sold 3,500 towers to Solusi Tunas Pratama for IDR5.6 trillion and in 2017 unloaded 2,500 towers to Portland for IDR3.6 trillion.

XL will still own about 1,600 towers after the latest deals complete.

Rival Indosat Ooredoo also is looking to sell towers. It held discussions in August 2019 with Protelindo and state-owned Telkom Indonesia.