Filipino number two Globe has pledged a minimum $200 million investment to upgrade the network of its recent acquisition, Bayantel.
Globe took a controlling stake in Bayantel in July for $172 million. Bayantel chairman Gil Genio noted that Globe was providing “financial and technical support” in exchange for being able to use Bayantel’s 1.8GHz spectrum.
Genio added that Globe – for which he is the COO - has set an upper limit of $300 million for the network upgrade, which will cover “modernisation of the network — the outdoor cabinets, data nodes, etc”.
Initially acquiring a 38% stake in Bayantel back in 2013, Globe has since suggested that it could convert its debt holdings in the operator – which has been under corporate rehabilitation since 2003 – into a minimum 54% stake.
Market leader PLDT called for the regulator NTC to dismiss the debt-to-equity proposal on the grounds that it would “defeat competition”. Despite this, the deal received regulatory approval and Globe took control of the 70.76 million shares held by Bayantel and Lopez Holdings, giving it 98.57% control over the operator.
The takeover has allowed Bayantel to leave corporate rehabilition – it was originally planning to do so in 2023.