KKR advances towerco plan for Philippines

KKR advances towerco plan for Philippines


KKR has invested an undisclosed sum from its infrastructure fund in the parent company of Frontier Tower Associates Philippines (FTAP).

The investment follows a turbulent 20 months for the Philippines tower sector, during which the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) has faced several delays introducing its common tower policy in the country.

Originally scheduled for January 2019, the policy was finalised in June of this year, allowing KKR to move on its ambition of building a “leading independent telecom tower platform in the Philippines”.

Owned by Pinnacle Towers Ltd, FTAP was one of the first independent TowerCos in the Philippines to secure a provisional operating license from DICT.

Patrick Tangney, chairman and CEO of Pinnacle, said: “We are thrilled to welcome a global investor of KKR’s calibre to Pinnacle, and look forward to benefiting from the firm’s experience in managing telecom infrastructure projects across the world.

“KKR’s investment comes at a pivotal time: the Philippines – and Asia more generally – is one of the world’s fastest-growing and most dynamic mobile markets. Improving telecom infrastructure has become a key priority, especially in our current environment. Together with KKR, we look forward to furthering our goal of providing high-quality telecom infrastructure solutions that improve the lives of mobile users in the Philippines and other relevant markets in Asia Pacific.”

For a towerco with regional ambitions, KKR’s investment will allow FTAP to boost its infrastructure portfolio at a time when Filipino mobile users increasingly demand reliable data-rich, high-speed, affordable connectivity, and more generally to address the rapidly growing demands for telecom infrastructure in and around Southeast Asia.

The deal marks KKR’s second infrastructure investment in the Philippines and its fourth overall investment in the market.

David Luboff, partner and head of Asia Pacific infrastructure at KKR, said: “The telecommunications sector in the Philippines has grown rapidly in the past few years amid the increasing demand for connectivity. This has led to a resource imbalance and the need to expand existing infrastructure to allow operators to provide better service and coverage to their customers. Our investment in Pinnacle reiterates our commitment to addressing this need and supporting the Philippines’ transition to a connected, digital nation.

“We look forward to assisting the Pinnacle team to deliver the benefits of a more digitally enabled economy to the Filipino people, especially in growing regions such as Visayas and Mindanao.”

In May KKR launched Global Technical Realty (GTR), a US$1 billion new data centre business with a focus on new facilities across Europe. The following month the firm made a $2.7 billion bid to take MasMovil private and in September announced a second investment in subsidiaries belonging to Reliance Industries.




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