PLDT picks Edgepoint, Edotco for $ 1.5-billion tower deals

PLDT Inc., the Philippines’ largest telecommunications and digital services provider by market value, has picked Edgepoint Infrastructure and edotco Group Sdn. as the preferred bidders for its local towers, people familiar with the matter said.

Edgepoint, backed by DigitalBridge and Abu Dhabi Investment Authority, is in exclusive talks with PLDT for a portfolio of about 3,000 towers in the greater Manila area, according to the people. Malaysia’s telecommunications tower firm Edotco has entered into exclusive discussions for another 3,000 towers outside of Manila, said the people, asking not to be identified because the matter is private.

The two deals could be valued at about $ 1.5 billion and agreements could be reached as soon as in the coming days, the people said.

Talks could still fall apart and no final decision has been made, the people said. Other bidders including private equity firms and industry players remain interested in the assets, the people said. Representatives for Edgepoint and DigitalBridge declined to comment, while representatives for Edotco and PLDT did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

PLDT has been working with an adviser to find a buyer for its phone towers in the Philippines, Bloomberg News reported last year. A transaction would involve PLDT selling the towers and then leasing them back, people familiar with the matter said at the time.

PLDT, which has a market value of about P392 billion ($ 7.6 billion), counts Japan’s Nippon Telegraph & Telephone Corp. and Hong Kong-based investment firm First Pacific Co. among its major shareholders, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. – Bloomberg

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