Sunday, May 26, 2024

Aboitiz-led Unity signs deal to buy cell towers from Globe

Unity Digital Infrastructure, a joint venture between Aboitiz InfraCapital, Inc. (AIC) and Partners Group, recently signed an Asset Sale and Purchase Agreement and a Master Lease Agreement with local operator Globe.

Unity said the transaction includes the acquisition of 447 telecommunications towers and associated passive telecommunications infrastructure in Luzon through a sale and leaseback agreement for a consideration of P5.4 billion.

The successful sale and leaseback transaction with Globe will further expand Unity’s capacity, digital footprint, and portfolio of strategic locations across the country. After the completion of this transaction, Unity’s portfolio of assets will increase to more than 2,000 towers and small cell poles nationwide.

The Philippine government has set a goal to deploy a common tower network of over 50,000 towers with the aim of enhancing telecommunication services and meeting the rising demand for data connectivity. 

“Aboitiz InfraCapital is committed to addressing the infrastructure gaps in the Philippines. Aligned with the Aboitiz Group’s goal of becoming the Philippines’ first Techglomerate, this partnership between Unity and Globe will allow us to support mobile network operators in enhancing connectivity across the country, bringing even more Filipinos into the digital age,” Cosette Canilao, AIC president and CEO, said.

“We are confident that our partnership with Unity will enable us to further streamline our operations and promote technology as a tool to upgrade the standard of living across the nation but especially in Visayas and Mindanao, consistent with our vision of digital inclusivity. Reliable infrastructure cannot be stressed enough for a digital company like Globe especially now that our deliberate shift from telco to techco is robustly underway,” Ernest Cu, Globe Telecom CEO said.

Unity aims to be a one-stop telecommunications infrastructure provider for mobile network carriers, providing solutions to the gaps in connectivity and Internet access in the country. To achieve this goal, Unity is looking to further build its portfolio of assets by developing new towers and acquiring existing towers in key areas nationwide.

“At Unity, our commitment is focused on supporting the country’s digital infrastructure initiative. We partner with all mobile network operators to address the growing demand for expanded coverage and improved connectivity, with the goal of reaching unserved and underserved areas,” Robin Sarmiento, Unity Digital Infrastructure CEO, said.

“Signing this agreement with Unity is consistent with our endeavor to promote capital efficiency and prudence in our transactions. We keep our shareholders’ and customers’ welfare in mind by finding the right balance of funding sources and transformational projects designed to steer the company towards the digital forefront,” Rizza Eala, Globe Telecom CFO, said.

The Philippines is poised for significant digital infrastructure development, particularly in expanding access to broadband and mobile services. Taking advantage of this tremendous growth potential, the transaction with Globe supports Unity’s position as an increasingly significant player in the local common tower industry.

“Positioning ourselves as leaders in digital infrastructure brings us a step closer to our vision of becoming the Philippines’ first Techglomerate. Through the digital portfolio expansion of Aboitiz InfraCapital, we are empowering the country to stay connected and adapt to the ever-evolving digital landscape, driving progress and advancement for all,” Sabin M. Aboitiz, Aboitiz Group president and CEO, said.

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