By Darwin G. Amojelar
Globe Telecom Inc. said Monday the total proceeds from the sale and leaseback of its telecom towers reached nearly P100 billion.
The telecom unit of the Ayala Group said it has actively sold non-strategic infrastructure since last year, aiming to offload 7,000 towers in what is potentially the largest sale and leaseback transaction in the Philippines.
The recent contract with Unity Digital Infrastructure pushed the number to over 7,500, representing the upper threshold of its divestment plan. The agreement entails the sale and leaseback of 447 towers, generating gross proceeds of P5.4 billion to be paid in tranches.
“At the moment I think we have upped our tower sale. We will see if there are any more opportunistic transactions for the balance year but the fact that we’re at 7,509 is already over our target,” Globe chief finance officer Rizza Maniego-Eala said.
The company said including the Unity deal, the gross proceeds for all tower transactions already reached P96.322 billion. Globe successfully transferred 44 percent or 3,120 assets of the 7,059 acquired by tower companies, yielding about P40.5 billion.
Globe said it would use the tower sale proceeds for capital expenditure investments, facilitating the improvement of the company’s financial standing.
Globe earlier raised P11 billion from the closure of four tower sales with Phil-Tower Consortium Inc. (PhilTower). As part of this milestone, an additional 132 towers in Visayas and Mindanao were transferred to PhilTower, amounting to about P2 billion.
Globe also turned over 710 of 1,350 towers, accompanied by PhilTower’s commitment to construct 750 more across the Visayas and Mindanao regions.
Aside from PhilTower, MIESCOR Infrastructure Development Corp. received 39 percent of the 2,180 towers and related passive telecom infrastructure under the first Globe portfolio. Frontier Tower Associates Philippines also received 44 percent of the second portfolio, which consisted of 3,529 towers.
Globe said it plans to keep its strategically important towers for operations. By focusing on these towers, the company aims to enhance its operational efficiency and ensure reliable services for its customers, strengthening its overall performance.