MANILA -Globe Telecom Inc. transferred a second batch of tower assets to Unity Digital Infrastructure under their sale and leaseback deal, receiving over P2 billion in cash from the transaction so far.
In a disclosure, the telecom giant said it had concluded another deal with the Aboitiz-backed company, turning over 55 towers for P660 million. It transferred 115 towers for P1.4 billion back in July. In total, Unity bought 447 towers from Globe amounting to P5.4 billion earlier this year.
“There will be multiple closing dates, which will happen as and when closing conditions are met. We will provide updates on the relevant development of the disposal of tower assets in due course,” Globe said.
Last month, the Ayala-led company received P2.6 billion from the recent closing of more than 200 tower assets sold to Frontier Tower Associates Philippines Inc. and Miescor Infrastructure Development Corp.
Globe sold 7,506 telco assets, amounting to P96.4 billion, to multiple tower companies in total. It has completed more than half of the tower deals so far.
The transactions are in line with the government’s common tower policy, which supports colocation services. This means independent tower companies can build up their shared telecom tower assets that can be tapped by any local player to expand wireless network coverage across the country.
The company has been unloading tower assets to fund “future capital expenditures, debt repayments and debt avoidance with the expectation to improve the balance sheet health of the company.”
In a research note, Fitch Group unit CreditSights said the cash inflow from the tower deals would provide a “greater financial buffer” as the company spends to build up infrastructure.
In the first half, Globe shelled out P37.7 billion in capital expenditures to address data requirements, building 542 new cell sites and upgrading 5,087 mobile sites.
The telecom giant also opened 356 new 5G sites, boosting outdoor coverage to 97.44 percent in the National Capital Region and 91 percent in key cities in Visayas and Mindanao.
First half net income fell by 27 percent to P14.38 billion due to absence of a one-time gain from asset sale and higher depreciation expense
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