PLDT considers sale of non-strategic cell sites
Industry gaint PLDT Inc. confirmed Thursday that it plans to sell “non-core” cell sites to independent tower companies to raise funds and increase its balance sheet.
“We are at the start of a process of looking at what to do with the towers and we are talking with a number of international banks and they have enlightened us on the benefits of selling some of our towers,” he said. Pangilinan told reporters at the company meeting. quarterly briefing.
Pangilinan was asked to confirm a Bloomberg report on July 30 that he hired a consultant to sell his towers to raise $ 800 million to $ 1 billion (50 billion pesos).
However, the company was still in the early stages of the process and a timeline and size of any potential deal was still under discussion, Alfredo Panlilio, chairman and CEO of PLDT, said at the same briefing.
The plan comes as the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) issued guidelines the previous year that would pave the way for independent cell phone tower companies to operate in the Philippines.
The plan was for tower operators to build and even acquire existing cell sites and lease them out to multiple telecom operators, reducing their capital budgets and potentially costs to subscribers.
DICT also hoped it would speed up the deployment of telecommunications towers and reduce congestion on the country’s mobile networks.
Pangilinan said they were initially reluctant to sell their towers, fearing it would hurt their position as the main telecommunications provider.
“You wouldn’t want to give up because [you] open up to competition, ”Pangilinan said on Thursday.
He noted that the bankers ultimately persuaded them to consider selling a number of towers that “were not strategic for our maintaining our position as the dominant network in this country.”
He said PLDT could generate gains on the sale and also benefit from offloading the aging tower assets from its balance sheet.
“I think under certain assumptions the NPV (net present value) of a trade could be positive for PLDT and, purely of a financial transaction, that could also translate into significant financial gains as a number of these turns are fully or substantially amortized, “he said.
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