Globe Telecom Inc. said Tuesday it signed a P20-billion sale and leaseback deal with Phil-Tower Consortium involving 1,350 cellular towers.
The towers, which consist of 90-percent ground-based and 10-percent rooftop towers mostly in the Visayas and Mindanao, will be leased back to Globe for an initial period of 15 years.
Globe said the initial closing of the transaction for the 1,350 towers was expected by the end of 2022, with subsequent closings happening when conditions were met.
The latest deal would bring Globe’s total towers sold to 7,059, with expected total proceeds of P91 billion. The company plans to use the proceeds of the sale to finance capital expenditures and maturing debts.
Globe said the completion of the whole transaction would represent the Philippines’ largest tower sale and leaseback deal.
“This record-setting deal shows Globe’s commitment to capital efficiency and financial sustainability. Through this initiative, we ensure our balance sheet health, which allows us to properly complete and fortify our market leading position,” Globe chief finance officer Rosemarie Maniego-Eala said.
Globe president and chief executive Ernest Cu said the partnership with Philtower, which has a proven track record and expertise in telecom tower infrastructure, showed Globe’s commitment to ensuring the improvement in the Philippines’ internet condition and the success of the country’s digital transformation.
“Also, these monetization efforts will provide an uplift to Globe’s overall value, supporting our goal of enabling the digital lives of Filipinos,” Cu said.
“We are honored by the trust Globe has placed in PhilTower and are delighted to deepen our strategic partnership with Globe through this transaction,” said Phil-Tower president Devid Gubiani.
He said the expansion into Visayas and Mindanao would give PhilTower a nationwide reach.
“We are excited to contribute to the advancement and growth of digital infrastructure in the Philippines. We look forward to growing a long term partnership with all mobile network operators to bring efficiency, cost savings and faster expansion and further bridge the nation’s digital divide,” said Gubiani.
Macquarie Capital senior managing director and head of infrastructure and energy capital for Asia Pacific Ivan Varughese said the transaction would enable PhilTower to enhance digital connectivity and expand its reach into local communities that could benefit from better mobile network access, a key economic driver for the country.
“We are pleased to be able to continue supporting Phil0Tower to become one of the leading tower companies in providing critical digital infrastructure in the Philippines,” Varughese said.
UBS AG acted as the exclusive financial advisor to Globe on the transaction.