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July 21, 2024

BPI arranges financing to P77B deal to acquire telco towers of PLDT Group

Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI) led by bankero TG Limcaoco has arranged the financing that would bankroll the acquisition of the 5,907 telco towers owned by the PLDT Group to two leading international tower operators for P77 billion.

The Ayala-led bank has signed two term loan facility agreements that enabled the landmark sale of PLDT Group’s towers to two leading international tower operators. ComWorks Infratech, Corp. (CIC) and ISOC edotco Towers, Inc. (ISOC edotco).

The foreign companies emerged as the winning bidders in the sale the towers owned and operated by Smart Communications Inc. and Digitel Mobile Philippines Inc.

“We are pleased to enable this pioneering deal that will help accelerate the growth of the telecommunications industry. More than ever, connectivity plays a crucial role and BPI is committed to support these types of innovative and strategic acquisitions that will significantly contribute to a better Philippines,” the bankero said.

Under the agreements, the 170-year old bank is extending financing to the two tower companies involved in the P77 billion landmark sale and leaseback towers deal, which represents the largest cross-border acquisition in the technology, media and telecommunications space in the Philippines and the largest acquisition of assets in the country by international investors.

BPI Capital Corp. acted as the Mandated Lead Arranger, while BPI Asset Management and Trust Corp. acted as Facility Agent and Security Agent.

The facility agreements document the terms of the financing that both bidders will require to partially fund their respective acquisition of the tower assets.

CIC, a subsidiary of EdgePoint Holdco Pte. Ltd. (EdgePoint), was awarded a portfolio of 2,934 tower assets located in Luzon.

On the other hand, ISOC edotco – a subsidiary of edotco Investments (Labuan) Ltd. (edotco Investments) owned by edotco Group Sdn Bhd (edotco Group) – was awarded a portfolio of 2,973 towers assets located in Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao. EdgePoint and edotco Group are international groups with extensive experience in telecom tower operations in Asia.

Earlier, Smart also entered into Master Services Agreements with CIC and ISOC edotco whereby Smart agreed to lease back the towers sold in the transactions for a period of 10 years.

The sale and leaseback will also be complemented by a new tower build commitment of 1,500 towers in total over the next few years from each of CIC and ISOC edotco.