edotco Acquires Telecom Towers in the Philippines
edotco Group Sdn Bhd (“edotco”), through its wholly-owned subsidiary in the Philippines, announced that it has entered into a Sale and Purchase Agreement (“SPA”) for the acquisition of 2,973 telecom towers in the Philippines through a sale and lease back transaction with subsidiaries of PLDT, Inc. (“PLDT”).
The transaction, valued at PHP42 billion (RM 3.42 billion), makes the edotco Group the leading Tower Company (“TowerCo”) in the Philippines with 3,073 towers. Separately, edotco was also granted the commitment to build and develop 750 build-to-suit (“BTS”) sites for leasing to PLDT in the future (“Committed BTS”).
The company established its presence in the Philippines in 2019 and has since grown rapidly, having built approximately 100 towers to date with an order book of approximately 400 towers. This deal is a highly strategic transaction for edotco and is the first step to its market expansion, allowing it to become the number one independent TowerCo in the country. Given that the TowerCo market in the Philippines is still nascent, the transaction provides a critical first-mover advantage with an established and sizeable platform, enabling the company to diversify and strengthen its pan-Asian platform.
Out of the two tower portfolios being divested by PLDT, the portfolio acquired by edotco was strategically selected given its significant growth and colocation potential, providing the company with immediate scale and access to a nationwide platform. The portfolio comprises a wide geographical spread of sites located across Metro Manila, South Luzon, Palawan, Visayas and Mindanao, which gives edotco access to the underserved southern region that is expected to be the next frontier for telecom infrastructure developments driven by the rollout of 4G/5G and network densification requirements.
Dato Dr. Nik Ramlah Nik Mahmood, Chairman, edotco Group said, “The transaction presents a unique opportunity for edotco Group to gain immediate scale in a market with significant infrastructure needs while establishing a partnership with PLDT, a highly reputable and reliable anchor tenant. Being the largest TowerCo in the Philippines, edotco can be instrumental in shaping and developing the communications infrastructure in the country while creating value for its shareholders.”
Adlan Tajudin, CEO, edotco Group said, “This transaction presents a highly strategic acquisition for edotco as it diversifies and strengthens our pan-Asian platform with exposure to a nascent, high-growth market with strong governmental support. With an established platform in the Philippines, edotco can play an instrumental role in developing the nation’s digital economy infrastructure while accelerating its organic and inorganic growth strategy”.
The 750 Committed BTS orders are also expected to be situated in strategic locations with high colocation potential driven by the rollout of 4G/5G and network densification requirements. Additionally, out of the 2,973 towers being acquired, 2,643 (89%) are ground-based towers which are majority >40 metres in height, making such towers optimal for colocation activity.
The acquisition is scheduled to be completed by the end of this year upon the conditions precedents in the SPA being fulfilled. Following this transaction, edotco will manage and operate a diversified portfolio of approximately 54,000 towers across nine countries—Malaysia, Indonesia, Philippines, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Cambodia, Myanmar, Sri Lanka and Laos. The transaction further cements edotco Group’s position as the 6th largest TowerCo globally based on total tower sites owned and managed by the company.