May 7, 2023, MANILA, PHILIPPINES – Globe (PSE:GLO), a leading digital platform in the Philippines with major interests in telecommunications, financial technology, virtual healthcare, digital marketing solutions, corporate venture building, and most recently, climate technology, announced today the signing of the sale and leaseback agreement with Unity Digital Infrastructure (Unity), a partnership between Aboitiz InfraCapital (AIC) and Partners Group for the sale of 447 towers. The tower assets consist of 84% ground-based towers and 16% rooftop towers. The sale comes with a commitment to build over 200 towers across Visayas and/or Mindanao. Globe expects to raise total proceeds of ₱5.4 billion from executing this transaction.
The towers, which are all located in Luzon, will be leased back to Globe for an initial period of 15 years. The first close for this portfolio is targeted to occur in the third quarter of 2023, with subsequent closings happening as and when closing conditions are met. Globe estimates the pre-tax net transaction gain from this transaction to be ₱1.8 billion, reporting and recognition of which will be according to the timing of the transaction closings.
“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,” said Rizza Maniego-Eala, Globe’s Chief Finance Officer.
The sale to Unity brings Globe’s total tower sold from 7,059 towers to 7,506 towers and the expected proceeds will be used to finance capital expenditures and maturing debts. This tower deal will strengthen Globe’s balance sheet, thus providing sufficient flexibility to compete in this dynamic market as well as propel Globe’s shift into becoming the Philippines’ leading digital solutions platform.
“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,” said Sabin M. Aboitiz, Aboitiz Group President and Chief Executive Officer.
Robin Sarmiento, Unity Digital Infrastructure Chief Executive Officer commented, “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.”
Ernest L. Cu, Globe’s President and Chief Executive Officer added, “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 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.”
UBS AG acted as exclusive financial advisor to Globe on the transaction.