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PLDT said to weigh $800-million telecom towers sale

PLDT Inc., the Philippines’ biggest telecommunications and digital services provider by market value, is considering selling its local towers in a deal that could be worth about $800 million, according to people with knowledge of the matter.

The Makati-based company is working with an adviser on the planned disposal, said the people, who asked not to be identified as the process is private. A transaction would involve PLDT selling the towers and then leasing them back, the people said. The company could be seeking as much as $1 billion from a sale, one of the people said.

Transactions involving digital infrastructure such as telecom towers and data centers have been on the rise recently amid global technology rollouts. DigitalBridge Group Inc. this week agreed to buy the data center business of Hong Kong’s PCCW Ltd. for $750 million, while Bloomberg News reported in May that GDS Holdings Ltd. is considering acquiring GLP Pte’s data center operations in a deal that could value the assets at as much as $10 billion.

Deliberations are still ongoing and PLDT can decide to keep the business, the people said. PLDT President and Chief Executive Officer Al Panlilio declined to comment, adding the company is still assessing its options.

PLDT, which has a market value of about P268 billion ($5.3 billion) counts Japan’s Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corp. and Hong Kong-based investment firm First Pacific Co. among its major shareholders, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The company’s total mobile subscribers stood at about 72 million by the end of March, while it had about 3.3 million users for its broadband services, its latest presentation shows. — Bloomberg

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