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Philippines' PLDT, Globe to acquire San Miguel's US$1.5b telco assets

Monday, May 30, 2016 - 09:15

[MANILA] The Philippines' top two telecoms firms, Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co and Globe Telecom Inc said on Monday they are jointly acquiring the telecommunications assets of conglomerate San Miguel Corp .

The deal, which involves San Miguel subsidiaries that own a prized 700-megahertz frequency, is valued at 69.1 billion pesos (S$2.05 billion).

PLDT and rival Globe will each acquire 50 percent of San Miguel's telco business. The sale by the food-to-power conglomerate of its telecom assets followed the failure of negotiations in March for a joint venture with Australia's Telstra Corp Ltd.

"This will enable existing operators to provide significantly improved Internet and data services to the public and to our customers in the shortest possible time," PLDT chief executive Manuel Pangilinan said in a statement. PLDT said it will return to the government certain radio frequencies, which will allow for a third competitor to enter the market.

President-elect Rodrigo Duterte last week warned telecom players to shape up or face foreign competition.

The Philippines, one of Asia's fastest growing economies, has one of the slowest Internet connectivity in the world, according to Ookla, a global broadband and mobile data analytics site.

REUTERS