The Philippines operator has agreed to sell and least back over 5,700 of its mobile towers located across the island nation

Late last week, Globe Telecom announced that it had signed two major tower sales deals, set to raise roughly $1.28 billion, most of which will be put towards its network expansion.

The first deal will see MIESCOR Infrastructure Development Corporation (MIDC), a joint venture between Malaysian infrastructure company MIESCOR and US private equity firm Stonepeak, acquire 2,180 towers for roughly $467 million.

The second, larger deal will have Globe sell 3,529 sites to KKR-backed Frontier Tower for around $809 million.

In both cases, Globe will lease back the towers from the buyers for a 15-year period. 

“This longer tenor provides Globe with more stability and certainty with regard to the use of this passive infrastructure, which is critical to its core telco service,” explained the operator.

For Globe, the sale represents the culmination of a long-term ambition to monetise its passive infrastructure assets, following in the footprints of other major operators around the world that have spun off or sold their towers in recent years in exchange for quick cash. 

The company says that 75% of the funds raised will be used for network expansion and IT investment, while 25% will be used to reduce debt.

“This will significantly improve the overall health of Globe’s balance sheet and provide sufficient flexibility to properly compete in this dynamic market as well as further expand its digital ecosystem,” said Globe.

In fact, these two sales are just the start of Globe’s tower divestiture, with the operator saying that a third deal is currently in discussion for a further 1,350 towers. In total, Globe is looking to sell 7,059 towers, the majority of which are situated in Luzon (66%), with smaller numbers located in Mindanao (19%) and Visayas (15%). 

In related news, Globe is currently engaged in a major clash with mobile market newcomer DITO Telecommunity, with both parties calling on the regulator to punish the other over interconnect issues.

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