Are PLDT’s data centres and towers for sale?

Are PLDT’s data centres and towers for sale?

According to a number of reports, PLDT, a leading operator in the Philippines, is considering selling its data centres, with a potential value in the region of half a billion dollars. However, its towers, also the subject of sell-off speculation, could make even more money.

PLDT has ten data centres, with a combined capacity of 72MW. If it does go ahead with a sale of these, and a rumoured sale of its tower assets, which Bloomberg suggests it may also be considering, it won’t be alone. Many telcos are moving away from directly owning and managing data centres and other infrastructure.

The Data Centre Developments website also mentions unconfirmed reports that Morgan Chase has been asked to advise on a potential deal through which PLDT would sell the freehold for the sites and lease back its space in the data centres. This could be a good piece of business: the ten data centres, run by a subsidiary called ePLDT, could be worth $500 million.

As for the PLDT tower portfolio, the sale and leaseback of towers is becoming more common of late. If PLDT takes this route it could add another $1 billion to its coffers.

Like other telcos, PLDT has expended considerable time and effort expanding its data centre real estate. This may have seemed attractive at one time, but selling it to dedicated businesses with a strong presence in the market may not only reduce ongoing expenses but do wonders for the company's balance sheet.