PLTD has entered talks with EdgePoint and Edotco concerning the sale of half of the company’s mobile telecommunication towers
Philippines telecoms operator PLDT is reported to have begun discussions with two companies, EdgePoint and Edotco, aiming to sell 3,000 mobile telecommunications towers to each buyer.
In total, the two deals are valued at approximately $1.5 billion.
EdgePoint, backed by Digital Bridge and the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority, will reportedly acquire 3,000 sites in the Manila area, while Edotco, a subsidiary of Malaysia-based Axiata Group, will obtain 3,000 towers outside the capital city.
Formed just last summer, EdgePoint, currently operates roughly 10,000 sites across Indonesia and Malaysia.
Edotco, on the other hand, is a much larger player, having previously expressed a desire to become one of the top five independent tower companies in the world; it already operates roughly 43,000 towers throughout Asia. Late last year, it purchasd rival Malaysian tower operator Touch Mindscape for $400 million, adding roughly 1,000 new sites to its portfolio.
The agreement will see PLDT sell its physical towers and related passive equipment but retain ownership of its active RAN equipment. PLDT will reportedly continue to use the infrastructure post-sale via lease agreements.
Chief finance officer of PLDT, Anabelle Chua, noted the large price tag for the towers, noting that whoever the company’s tower assets are sold to will have a solid foundation from which to conduct tower-sharing business in the Philippines.
“That’s why it’s a very interesting transaction from the tower companies’ perspective because they know that this will be a game changer as well, as far as the towerco landscape in the Philippines,” stated Chua. “Hence, the strong interest in the transaction and we’re pleased that we’re able to take advantage of that.”
For PLDT, the motive behind this transaction is to relieve some of the company’s significant debts. PLDR chairman Manuel V. Pangilinan emphasised that the company was under no direct financial pressure to sell its tower infrastructures, but the move will nonetheless help it reach its targets of debt reduction and cutting interest payments.
“The bids we received is north of the P50-billion mark. So that should provide us with a bit of liquidity to reduce debts moving forward.” explained Pangilinan.
PLDT was in debt by $5 billion at the end of 2021.