Meralco subsidiary to acquire some Globe towers for P26.2 B

Published August 12, 2022, 5:45 PM

by Myrna M. Velasco

MIESCOR Infrastructure Development Corporation (MIDC), a joint venture between Manila Electric Company (Meralco) subsidiary MIESCOR and New York-headquartered Stonepeak, indicated that the former will acquire 2,180 towers and related passive telecom infrastructure from Ayala-led Globe under a sale and leaseback agreement valued at P26.2 billion.

Further, MIDC and Globe similarly executed a master lease agreement which prescribes that “Globe will be the anchor tenant of the telco towers at a monthly rate of P100,000 per tower for an initial period of 15 years.”

The deal also stipulated that “Globe provided a firm commitment for additional 750 build-to-suit towers over a period of four years.”

According to MIDC, first close of the transaction is targeted within the third quarter of this year; while subsequent closings will follow “once closing conditions are met.”

Tapped as financial advisor for the transaction had been AlphaPrimus Advisers; while Gibson Dunn and ACCRA Law acted as legal counsel for MIDC.

The Meralco subsidiary-firm said “the deal marks a significant milestone for MIDC, which aspires to become a major player in the common tower space by servicing the country’s leading mobile network operators.”

The Meralco-subsidiary firm is a licensed player by the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) to operate as an independent tower company. Its tie-up with Stonepeak was cemented in late 2021; and they’ve always set sight on telco tower opportunities in the region.

Meralco President and CEO Ray C. Espinosa emphasized that the deal with Globe is a “critical milestone in MIESCOR’s strategy to enter the digital infrastructure space, which plays a vital role in driving economic growth and social well-being through digital inclusion.”

MIDC, in particular, noted that its foray into the telecom sector is “backed by MIESCOR’s expertise in the engineering, procurement, and construction business.”

In the case of its partner Stonepeak, the joint venture could also leverage on its “extensive investing experience in towers and other digital infrastructure globally.”

As noted by Stonepeak Senior Managing Director and Head of Asia and the Middle East Hajir Naghdy, “this transaction is a great fit for our Asia Infrastructure strategy, which targets investments across energy transition, transportation and logistics, and communications and digital infrastructure, and represents a significant milestone for our growing Asia Pacific business.”

Espinosa similarly stated “this gives us the momentum to pursue more opportunities that will help us achieve our aspiration to become a trusted telco tower operator in the Philippines and eventually, a market leader in the digital infrastructure business.”