PLDT open to idea of selling some telco towers: Pangilinan

Jessica Fenol, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 05 2021 05:18 PM | Updated as of Aug 05 2021 09:32 PM

MANILA - PLDT Inc considering selling a certain number of telco towers that are not strategic in maintaining its position, company chairman Manny Pangilinan said Thursday.

Bloomberg reported in July that the telco is considering selling towers in a deal worth $800 million (P40 billion), citing industry sources.

Pangilinan was asked about the report during the telco's first-half financial briefing. 

"We’ve spoken to a number of international banks and they have enlightened us on the advantages of selling part of our towers. So I think we’re open to the idea," Pangilinan told reporters.

"So in our discussions with the bank, I think they managed to persuade us that if we were to let go of a certain number of our towers that are not strategic to our position, to our maintaining our position as the dominant network in this country, I think that led us to [say] maybe we should be open to it and for so long the financial case is compelling to PLDT," he added.

However, Pangilinan said many details have yet to be worked out.

Newly appointed PLDT president and CEO Al Panlilio said it would be prudent for the company to look at strategic options, and that they are just at the "early part" of the process.

Philippine regulators are pushing for common towers to help telcos improve connectivity in the country. 

PLDT, which posted a telco core income of P15.2 billion or 10 percent higher compared to the same period in 2020, is eyeing to hit P30 billion profit for the full year with expansions in its mobile, fixed internet and enterprise businesses, Pangilinan said. 

PLDT has signed a deal with the Department of Education for 1 million SIM cards and load for teachers that will yield P1 billion in revenue, Panlilio said. 

Panlilio also said the telco is now "more prepared" to face the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Vaccination of frontline workers who face customers is a priority to ensure continued service, Panlilio said. 

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