MANILA, Philippines -- Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co. (PLDT) said Monday its wholly owned unit Smart Communications Inc. has acquired a local telecommunications company for P419.5 million ($10 million) as part of its plan to expand and upgrade broadband services.
PLDT said Smart has acquired the entire issued and outstanding capital stock of PH Communications Holdings Corp. and Francom Holdings Inc., which collectively own 100 percent of Connectivity Unlimited Resource Enterprise Inc. (CURE).
Smart acquired PH Communications and Francom from a group led by Filipino businessman Roberto Ongpin.
Smart also intends to invest an additional P210 million by subscribing to new shares in CURE, which will use the fresh funds for working capital purposes, PLDT said in a statement.
"The acquisition dovetails with Smart's previously announced plan to provide expanded and enhanced 3G services nationwide, including higher speed wireless broadband services," PLDT said.
CURE, which has a government permit to provide third-generation telecommunications services in the country, will provide Smart with a platform to penetrate niche markets, the company said.
Smart's wireless broadband subscriber base grew 148 percent to 302,000 in 2007.
PLDT, the country's biggest company by market value, is partly owned by the NTT group of Japan and Hong Kong-based First Pacific Co. Ltd.
At 10:42 a.m., PLDT shares were down 0.6 percent at P2,510.