Converge buys PLDT’s Luzon cable landing stations in pivotal move
Pampanga-based businessman Dennis Anthony Uy’s Converge ICT Solutions Inc. is paying $7.5 million to acquire international cable landing stations of PLDT Inc. in Luzon—giving it control of crucial internet gateways to the country.
Converge said in a stock exchange filing on Thursday it signed separate deals with PLDT subsidiary Digital Telecommunications Phils. Inc. to buy Digitel Crossing Inc.
Digitel, whose other major shareholder is Pacnet Network (Philippines) Inc. of Australian telecom giant Telstra, maintains and operates cable landing stations in the Philippines connected to the EAC and C2C cable systems.
International cable systems are the unseen backbone of internet services used by billions of people around the world and make landfall in facilities called landing stations.
According to consultancy firm Submarine Networks, the EAC and C2C cable systems land in Cavite and Batangas, respectively.The transaction comes ahead of Converge’s plans to open nationwide internet services this year, part of a broader target to cover 55 percent of all households in the country by 2025. Converge said on Thursday it signed a deed of absolute sale with Digital Telecommunications to buy the company’s 40-percent stake in Digitel Crossing for $4.84 million.
It also sealed a separate deal worth $2.66 million for Digital Telecommunications’ stake in Asia Netcom Philippines Corp., which also owns shares in Digitel Crossing.
Digital Telecommunications, operator of Sun Cellular, used to be owned by the Gokongwei family before it was acquired by PLDT in 2011.
Converge said the acquisition would “expand its capabilities in telecommunications since it acquires interest in entities involved in providing, operating and maintaining the cable landing stations of EAC and C2C international cables.”
The deal was also expected to bring cost benefits for Converge, which is ramping up its presence in the international cable segment amid an aggressive expansion program.
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