Six unnamed bidders line up for PLDT's tower assets

Manila, Philippines.jpg
Manila, Philippines

Philippine telco PLDT is progressing on its plans to sell its tower portfolio, with CEO Alfredo Panlilio confirming offers have been received and whittled down to six final bidders.

Panlilio did not name which firms were looking to take the assets, but he did say the offers received are "to buy thousands of its telecoms towers for up to $1 billion", according to reports.

PLDT will sell 6,000 towers to two companies in the second quarter and keep the rest of its more than 11,000-strong tower portfolio.

Local rival Globe approached PLDT for a tower sharing agreement back in 2018, with PLDT rejecting the offer at the time.

PLDT's ongoing negotiations to sell the assets is expected to bring new opportunities for savings and debt reduction, although according to PLDT's latest financial results its telco core income increased 8% over FY21 compared to FY20, while reported net income was up 9%.

The results, issued on 3 March, also detailed "planned tower sharing in 2022" as a means by which to control capex, which has increased significantly since FY19. Back then, capex to service revenues were 45%, while in FY20 they dropped to 41% and in FY21 reached 48%. Network and IT are listed as the biggest expenditures. PLDT's gross debt stands at just over $5 million.

The news on PLDT's towers follows confirmation that ePLDT is building a 100MW data centre in the Philippines.

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