PLDT telco towers sold to KKR unit for P2.8B | Inquirer Business

PLDT telco towers sold to KKR unit for P2.8B

/ 02:18 AM October 07, 2023

MANILA  -Tycoon Manuel Pangilinan-led PLDT Inc. raised P2.8 billion from the sale of telco towers to third-party operator Frontier Tower Associates Philippines Inc., completing the first phase of a deal valued at around P12.1 billion.

PLDT said in a stock exchange filing on Friday that it completed the transfer of 230 cell towers to Frontier, which is backed by US investment company KKR. A separate agreement to leaseback the towers from Frontier also became effective on Thursday.

“The sale and leaseback of towers are in line with the PLDT Group’s strategy to push for an asset-light balance sheet, while providing superior network quality and an even better customer experience,” the telco giant said on Friday. “It further supports the government’s program of building a strong digital infrastructure program to allow Filipinos to access affordable and reliable internet services,” it added. Last March, PLDT said it would sell 1,012 cell towers to Frontier.


READ: PLDT sells fourth portfolio of cellular towers for P12.1B


Relinquishing ownership

The remaining towers included in their agreement will be fully transferred over the next few months, the telco giant said on Friday.

PLDT, the country’s biggest integrated telecommunications provider, has been relinquishing ownership of tower assets via sale and leaseback deals with third-party companies since last year. In doing so, it can generate proceeds from the assets to help finance significant capital expenditures for further expansion and service upgrades.

The company has signed sale and leaseback agreements for over 7,500 towers. This includes the transfer of 5,907 towers to Malaysia’s Edotco Group and 650 towers to Unity Digital Infrastructure, a venture between the Aboitiz Group and private equity firm Partners Group.

PLDT earlier reported first semester 2023 core profits of P17.6 billion, up 3 percent, while service revenues increased by 1 percent to P47.4 billion.

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TAGS: cell towers, PLDT Inc., Sale

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