PLDT inks P9.2B tower sale, leaseback deal with Unity Digital Infrastructure

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Dec 16 2022 09:13 AM | Updated as of Dec 16 2022 10:45 AM

MANILA - PLDT Inc on Friday said it signed an agreement for the sale and leaseback of 650 towers worth P9.2 billion.

PLDT subsidiaries Smart Communications Inc and Digitel Mobile Philippines Inc signed a sale and purchase agreement for the sale of 650 telco towers and associated passive telco infrastructure to Unity Digital Infrastructure Inc through its portfolio company Terra Digital Philippines Corp, it said in a statement. 

"The transaction is expected to generate a significant gain on disposal for PLDT," it said. 

Unity Digital Infrastructure is a joint venture of Aboitiz InfraCapital and Partners Group. 

“This transaction deepens our relationship with Unity and its shareholders, while allowing PLDT to further unlock value, and providing us with additional financial and operational flexibility as we further expand across the Philippines," PLDT Chairman Manuel V. Pangilinan said. 

Upon completion, Smart will lease back the towers for 10 years at competitive terms, PLDT said. The sale and leaseback is complemented with the commitment to build 220 towers over the next few years, it added.

PLDT said the towers being monetized are located in Visayas and Mindanao. 

“As a result of this partnership with Unity, we expect further enhancements to our network quality, service excellence and customer experience across the Visayas and Mindanao. The improved connectivity will support the digitalization of the Philippines, bringing benefits to all Filipinos," PLDT and Smart President and CEO Alfredo S. Panlilio said. 

To date, the PLDT's total number of towers to be monetized through sale and leaseback transactions reached over 6,500 worth more than P86 billion, the company said.

Closing of the transaction will be in a staggered basis. It is expected to be completed by 2023, PLDT said.

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