Unity Digital Infrastructure Inc. (Unity), a joint venture between Aboitiz InfraCapital, Inc. (AIC) and Partners Group, a leading global private markets firm, acting on behalf of its clients, recently signed an Asset Sale and Purchase Agreement and a Master Lease Agreement with one of the country’s major telecommunications companies, Globe Telecom, Inc. (Globe). The transaction includes the acquisition of 447 telecommunications towers and associated passive telecommunications infrastructure in Luzon through a sale and leaseback agreement for a consideration of PHP 5.4 billion.
The successful sale and leaseback transaction with Globe will further expand Unity’s capacity, digital footprint, and portfolio of strategic locations across the country. After the completion of this transaction, Unity’s portfolio of assets will increase to more than 2,000 towers and small cell poles nationwide.
The Philippine government has set a goal to deploy a common tower network of over 50,000 towers with the aim of enhancing telecommunication services and meeting the rising demand for data connectivity.
“Aboitiz InfraCapital is committed to addressing the infrastructure gaps in the Philippines. Aligned with the Aboitiz Group’s goal of becoming the Philippines’ first Techglomerate, this partnership between Unity and Globe will allow us to support mobile network operators in enhancing connectivity across the country, bringing even more Filipinos into the digital age,” said Cosette Canilao, AIC President and CEO.
“We are confident that our partnership with Unity will enable us to further streamline our operations and promote technology as a tool to upgrade the standard of living across the nation but especially in Visayas and Mindanao, consistent with our vision of digital inclusivity. Reliable infrastructure cannot be stressed enough for a digital company like Globe especially now that our deliberate shift from telco to techco is robustly underway.,” remarked Ernest Cu, Globe Telecom CEO.
Unity aims to be a one-stop telecommunications infrastructure provider for mobile network carriers, providing solutions to the gaps in connectivity and internet access in the country. To achieve this goal, Unity is looking to further build its portfolio of assets by developing new towers and acquiring existing towers in key areas nationwide. Through these efforts, Unity is playing a vital role in addressing the need for common towers, propelling the nation’s digital transformation, and enabling millions of Filipinos to access reliable internet services.
“At Unity, our commitment is focused on supporting the country’s digital infrastructure initiative. We partner with all mobile network operators to address the growing demand for expanded coverage and improved connectivity, with the goal of reaching unserved and underserved areas,” affirmed Robin Sarmiento, Unity Digital Infrastructure CEO.
“Signing this agreement with Unity is consistent with our endeavor to promote capital efficiency and prudence in our transactions. We keep our shareholders’ and customers’ welfare in mind by finding the right balance of funding sources and transformational projects designed to steer the company towards the digital forefront,” expressed Rizza Eala, Globe Telecom CFO.
“We are proud of the continued growth of Unity and our work in partnership with Aboitiz InfraCapital. Since its formation in 2021, Unity has already built up a substantial tower and small-cell pole portfolio with major telecommunications companies in the Philippines. This is a significant step towards realizing our vision of positioning Unity as a leading telecommunications infrastructure provider that can deliver positive stakeholder impact over the long term through closing the country’s digital divide,” said Andrew Kwok, Managing Director, Co-Head Private Infrastructure Asia, Partners Group.
The Philippines is poised for significant digital infrastructure development, particularly in expanding access to broadband and mobile services. Taking advantage of this tremendous growth potential, the transaction with Globe supports Unity’s position as an increasingly significant player in the local common tower industry. By providing innovative and reliable connectivity solutions, Unity is committed to advancing the country’s digital economy and enhancing social inclusion for Filipinos.
“Positioning ourselves as leaders in digital infrastructure brings us a step closer to our vision of becoming the Philippines’ first Techglomerate. Through the digital portfolio expansion of Aboitiz InfraCapital, we are empowering the country to stay connected and adapt to the ever-evolving digital landscape, driving progress and advancement for all,” said Sabin M. Aboitiz, Aboitiz Group President and CEO.
About Unity Digital Infrastructure
Unity Digital Infrastructure, Inc. is a joint venture telecommunications infrastructure platform by Aboitiz InfraCapital of the Aboitiz Group and leading global private markets firm, Partners Group, acting on behalf of its clients. Unity builds and operates telecommunication towers and supporting infrastructure across the Philippines, to help local telcos boost connectivity and service reliability. For more information, visit: www.unitydigitalinfra.com.
Aboitiz Equity Ventures, Inc. (AEV) is the public holding company of the Aboitiz Group with major investments in power, banking and financial services, food, infrastructure, land, and data science and artificial intelligence. Today, AEV is recognized as one of the best-managed companies in the Philippines and in the region, consistently cited for its commitment to good corporate governance and corporate social responsibility. With five generations of Aboitiz Group business success behind it, AEV continues to drive change for a better world by advancing business and communities.
The Aboitiz Group is a member of the Global Compact Network Philippines Board of Trustees and helps champion the Philippines’ sustainability initiatives on an international level through policies, advocacies, and initiatives that align with the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC). The company has also launched its #OneAboitizSustainability Framework which aims to transform its life-essential businesses into having improved sustainable practices and positively impact the environment and society. To know more about the #OneAboitizSustainability programs, please visit: https://sustainability.aboitiz.com/.
About Aboitiz InfraCapital
Aboitiz InfraCapital, Inc., the infrastructure arm of the Aboitiz Group, aims to build purpose-driven infrastructure that spurs economic growth and improves lives. It develops Economic Estates as well as Water, Digital Infrastructure, and Transport & Mobility projects that enable businesses and uplift communities.
Its current business units include the LIMA Estate and LIMA Water Corporation in Batangas, Mactan Economic Zone 2 Estate, West Cebu Estate, and Mactan Cebu International Airport in Cebu, Apo Agua Infrastructura, Inc. in Davao, and Unity Digital Infrastructure, Inc. The company also has a minority stake in Balibago Waterworks System, Inc., a privately-owned waterworks utility system. For more information, visit www.aboitizinfracapital.com or follow Aboitiz InfraCapital on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter.
About Partners Group
Partners Group is a leading global private markets firm. Since 1996, the firm has invested over USD 195 billion in private equity, private real estate, private debt, and private infrastructure on behalf of its clients globally. Partners Group seeks to generate strong returns through capitalizing on thematic growth trends and transforming attractive businesses and assets into market leaders. The firm is a committed, responsible investor and aims to create sustainable returns with lasting, positive impact for all its stakeholders. With USD 135 billion in assets under management as of 31 December 2022, Partners Group provides an innovative range of bespoke client solutions to institutional investors, sovereign wealth funds, family offices and private individuals globally. The firm employs more than 1,800 diverse professionals across 20 offices worldwide and has regional headquarters in Baar-Zug, Switzerland; Denver, USA; and Singapore. It has been listed on the SIX Swiss Exchange since 2006 (symbol: PGHN). For more information, please visit www.partnersgroup.com.
Globe Telecom, Inc. is a leading digital platform in the Philippines, with major interests in telecommunications, financial technology, digital marketing solutions, venture capital funding for startups, entertainment, and virtual healthcare. The company serves the telecommunications and technology needs of consumers and businesses across an entire suite of products and services including mobile, fixed, broadband, data connectivity, internet and managed services. In 2019, Globe became a signatory to the United Nations Global Compact, committing to implement universal sustainability principles. Its principals are Ayala Corporation and Singtel, acknowledged industry leaders in the country and in the region. It is listed on the Philippine Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol GLO and had a market capitalization of US$5.7 billion as of the end of October 2022. For more information, visit www.globe.com.ph. Follow @enjoyglobe on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.