Globe sells 1,350 cell towers to Macquarie-backed group for P20B

Ayala-led Globe Telecom has signed its third tower sale and leaseback deal, pushing forward its plan to raise P90 billion from the disposal of more than 7,000 towers.

Globe’s sale and leaseback agreement with Phil-Tower Consortium Inc. involves 1,350 towers amounting to P20 billion.

The assets, which are located mostly in Visayas and MIndanao, consist of 90 percent ground-based towers and 10 percent rooftop towers.

Phil-Tower is backed by Macquarie Capital , the advisory, capital markets and principal investment arm of Australia-based global financial services group Macquarie.

The towers will be leased back to Globe for an initial period of 15 years.

“We believe that our partnership with Philtower, which has a proven track record and expertise in telecom tower infrastructure, shows Globe’s commitment to ensuring the improvement in the Philippines’ internet condition and the success of the country’s digital transformation,” said Ernest Cu, Globe president and CEO.

“Also, these monetization efforts will provide an uplift to Globe’s overall value, supporting our goal of enabling the digital lives of Filipinos,” Cu added.

Globe expects the first close for the transaction to be made by the end of the year, with subsequent closings happening as and when closing conditions are met.

The Ayala-led telco estimates the pre-tax transaction gain from the transaction to be P5.2 billion, reporting and recognition of which will be according to the timing of the transaction closings.

The Philtower sale and leaseback deal brings Globe’s total towers sold to 7,059, with expected total proceeds of P91 billion.

Last month, Globe signed two agreements with Miescor Infrastructure Development and Frontier Tower Associates Philippines for the sale and leaseback of 5,709 telecom towers and related passive telecom infrastructure for over P71 billion.

Globe said the sale of the three tower portfolios will become the Philippines’ largest ever tower sale and leaseback deal upon completion, proceeds of which will be used by the telco to finance capital expenditures and maturing debts.

“This record-setting deal shows Globe’s commitment to capital efficiency and financial sustainability. Through this initiative, we ensure our balance sheet health, which allows us to properly complete and fortify our market leading position,” Globe chief finance officer Rosemarie Maniego-Eala said.