PLDT earns P12.1B from tower sale
The Manila Times
PLDT Inc. on Friday said it had agreed to sell a fourth portfolio of telecommunications towers and associated infrastructure to Frontier Tower Associates Philippines Inc. for over P12.1 billion. The firm told the stock exchange that its wireless unit Smart Communications Inc. had signed a share purchase agreement with the subsidiary of Pinnacle Towers Pte. Ltd. to sell 1,012 telecommunications towers and infrastructure primarily located in Luzon. The transaction, which is expected to be completed this year, brings the total number of towers monetized via sale and leaseback transactions to over 7,500 for a consideration of more than P98 billion. “This transaction cements our relationship with one of the largest independent tower companies in the country, providing the Group with another important partner to support our expansion while unlocking additional value,” Manuel Pangilinan, PLDT chairman, said. Alfredo Panlilio, PLDT and Smart president and chief executive, added that the transaction represents another important milestone in the company’s assetlight strategy focused on operational efficiencies and best-in-class customer experience, supportive of the government’s digital roadmap for the Philippines. “Our partnership with PLDT is built on a foundation of trust: trust that we can continue to deliver long-term value in operating and expanding PLDT’s world-class network in an environmentally sustainable manner,” Patrick Tangney, chairman and chief executive of Frontier, said. “This transaction provides a wonderful opportunity for us to enhance digital connectivity and inclusion throughout the Philippines for PLDT and the people of the Philippines,” he added. Smart also entered into a master services agreement with Frontier on similar terms (including tenor and lease rate) as the master services agreements previously entered into by Smart in relation to the sale and leaseback transactions announced in April and December 2022. Upon completion of the transaction, Smart will lease back the towers for a period of 10 years at competitive terms as the anchor tenant. The company added that the sale and leaseback will be complemented by a commitment of 550 new points of service from Smart over the next few years enabling Smart to further expand its network and enhance customer experience. UBS AG acted as exclusive financial adviser to PLDT and Smart on this transaction.