By Elffie Chew and Manuel Baigorri
Globe Telecom Inc. is weighing selling around half of its telecommunications tower portfolio in a deal that could be worth as much as $1.5 billion, according to people with knowledge of the matter.
The Manila-listed company, which counts Singapore Telecommunications Ltd. and Filipino conglomerate Ayala Corp. among its largest shareholders, is considering including about 6,000 of its towers in the planned sale, the people said. Globe Telecom is working with an adviser to gauge interest from potential bidders ahead of starting a formal sale process, said the people, who asked not to be identified as the information is private.
Deliberations are at an early stage and the company could decide not to proceed with a sale, the people said.
Globe Telecom has not received board approval to date for a sale or leaseback transaction of its tower assets, a company representative said in response to queries from Bloomberg News. Globe Telecom is focused on working with different tower companies for its network rollout, the representative added.
Globe Telecom’s divestment plan comes after its rival PLDT Inc. sold its towers for 77 billion pesos ($1.5 billion) in April to Axiata Group Bhd.’s edotco Group Sdn. and EdgePoint Infrastructure Sdn., backed by DigitalBridge Group Inc. Digital infrastructure such as telecom towers and data centers have increasingly become targets for deal activity in the region.
Globe Telecom remains keen on divesting its tower assets, and the recent transaction from PLDT has made the environment more friendly with respect to a sale, chief finance officer Rizza Maniego-Eala told local newspaper The Philippine Star in May. The company has a total of 12,194 cell towers as of the end of March, according to a press release.
The telecommunications company, which has a market value of about $6 billion, has 87.4 million mobile subscribers, according to its latest financial statement. It has brought 91 tower company sites on air since the start of the year, in 16 provinces across the country. Singtel, Globe Telecom’s largest shareholder, is backed by state investment giant Temasek Holdings Pte.
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