PLDT in talks with final bidder for data center business stake

June 11, 2024 - 6:26 PM
921

 PLDT TEL.PS, the Philippines’ largest telecommunications group, is looking to finalize a deal to sell a stake in its data center unit by July after the final bidder agreed to value the business at over $1 billion, PLDT’s chairman said on Tuesday.

PLDT is aiming to sell up to 49% of the business, chairman and CEO Manuel Pangilinan told reporters at the sidelines of its annual stockholder meeting.

Pangilinan said proceeds from the sale to the foreign bidder, which he did not identify, would be used to pay debt. The unidentified company operates a smaller data centre business, he said.

Pangilinan told Reuters last month the company was in talks with Japan’s Nippon Telegraph and Telephone (NTT) 9432.T for a potential deal. NTT did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Pangilinan did not say on Tuesday if NTT was the final bidder.

Founded in 1928, PLDT’s businesses include fixed line and wireless telephony, its website shows. The company owns and operates 11 data centers through subsidiary ePLDT.

The deal is part of a slew of planned transactions for Philippine units and affiliates of Hong Kong-based investment holding company First Pacific Co Ltd 0142.HK, which is led by Pangilinan and owns 25.6% economic interest in PLDT.

Utility firm Maynilad Water has initiated talks with banks for a planned initial public offering in 2025 or early 2026, Pangilinan said.

Its digital bank, Maya, however, will not list in the next two years due to tepid investor sentiment and the need to improve business performance, Pangilinan said.

—Reporting by Neil Jerome Morales; Editing by John Mair and Mark Potter