GLOBE Telecom, Inc. has closed the sale of 578 towers to Phil-Tower Consortium, Inc. for P8.6 billion as part of its capital-raising strategy to improve its balance sheet.
In a disclosure to the Philippine Stock Exchange, the Ayala-led company said it received the amount on Feb. 11, which is the first closing of the 1,350 towers set to be transferred to Phil-Tower.
Rizza Maniego-Eala, Globe’s chief finance officer, said the transfer of nearly half of the towers provides the company “much-needed financial flexibility, especially in the current macroeconomic backdrop of high inflation and increasing interest rate environment.”
The deal goes back to Aug. 11, 2022 when the board of directors of the telco company approved the sale and leaseback agreement of its towers with Phil-Tower.
In total, Globe said it has completed 42% of the sale or a total of 2,988 of its 7,059 have been transferred to tower companies, raising around P39 billion so far.
“We are taking advantage of the arrangements we made with the [tower companies] to accelerate our tower builds and ensure fast and reliable connectivity as we roll out core products and services and diversify into new ventures,” said Ernest L. Cu, Globe president and chief executive officer.
The towers turned over to Phil-Tower are in the Visayas and Mindanao. Of these assets, 92% are ground-based towers and 8% are rooftop towers, Globe said.
Globe initially estimated a P5.2-billion gain from the transaction which it said is still subject to the carrying amount of the tower assets at the time of the actual sale.
“There will be multiple closing dates which will happen as and when closing conditions are met,” the company said.
In a separate press release, Globe said that its corporate venture builder, 917Ventures, received the initial batch of 100 Smartscooters, 400 smart batteries and seven GoStations from Taiwan-based Gogoro, to which it made an initial investment of $4 million.
The announcement is part of the partnership between 917Ventures, Ayala Corp. and Gogoro that aims to reduce the use of fossil fuels in the logistics industry.
The pilot run for Gogoro in Metro Manila will start in March 2023. The company said it will disclose details on the start of its commercial operations in due course.
Previously, Globe launched electric-powered shuttles from Global Electric Transport Philippines to service the company’s employees in Bonifacio Global City, Makati City and Mandaluyong City starting Jan. 23.
The use of electric vehicles is part of Globe’s plan of reducing its greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) in support of the Philippines’ commitment to reduce GHG emissions by 75% in 2030.
“This also aligns with Republic Act 11697, or the Electric Vehicle Industry Development Act, which mandates corporate fleets to ensure that 5% of their vehicles, whether owned or leased, are EVs within the government prescribed timeframe,” the company said.
On Monday, shares in Globe declined by 0.79% or P16 to close at P2,000 each at the stock exchange. — Justine Irish D. Tabile