PLDT receives P13.2B on sale of 1,013 telecom towers

PLDT, Inc. announced on Monday the second closing of a transaction involving the sale of 5,907 telecom towers and related passive telecom infrastructure for P77 billion.

“Second closing of the transaction was achieved today with the completion of the sale of 1,013 telecom towers,” PLDT said in a disclosure to the stock exchange.

The group received a corresponding cash consideration of P13.2 billion.

“This event follows the first closing attained on June 1 covering 3,012 telecom towers with a consideration of P39.2 billion having been paid to the group,” PLDT noted.

PLDT has sold 4,025 of the 5,907 telecom towers up for sale, or 68%.

It anticipates additional closings over the next few months based on the number of towers being transferred, with final closing expected by the last quarter.

To recall, PLDT announced in April that its subsidiaries, Smart Communications, Inc. and Digitel Mobile Philippines, Inc., had signed sale and purchase deals in connection with the sale of of the towers and related passive telecom infrastructure to the subsidiaries of international telecommunications infrastructure services companies edotco Group and EdgePoint.

The 5,907 towers — almost half of PLDT’s total tower portfolio — are spread across the Philippines, with 2,973 being acquired by ISOC edotco Towers, Inc., a subsidiary of edotco Group, and 2,934 towers by Comworks Infratech Corp., a subsidiary of EdgePoint.

With the cash from this transaction, the group aims to prepay P27.5 billion in debt maturing this year.

PLDT shares closed 0.06% lower at P1,655 apiece on Monday.

Hastings Holdings, Inc., a unit of PLDT Beneficial Trust Fund subsidiary MediaQuest Holdings, Inc., has a stake in BusinessWorld through the Philippine Star Group, which it control. — Arjay L. Balinbin