San Miguel Corporation (SMC) is selling its telecommunications assets to PLDT and Globe in a deal that’s worth more than $1 billion (Php46 billion). The deal is said to be under negotiations after talks between San Miguel and Telstra for a joint venture broke down last March.
The sale should include the much-coveted 700MHz spectrum that PLDT and Globe have been angling about and lobbying with the NTC for years. That, plus additional physical assets that include the towers and related properties.
Both Globe and PLDT will be sharing most of the available spectrum (694MHz to 790MHz) in order to expand their mobile internet service.
The exit is unexpected considering that San Miguel has been rolling out its network nationwide and building new cell sites. There could be resistance and it’s still not confirmed if NTC will allow this sale under the new Philippine Competition Law.
San Miguel was poised to launch it own mobile and wireless service this year with an initial plan to close a joint venture with Telstra as early as August 2015. Telstra eventually dropped its plans to invest in SMC later on without any clear explanations (read our speculations here) but the latter was confident it can roll out its service even without Telstra in the picture. Earlier this month another telecoms company, Telenor, made know its intention to partner with San Miguel (see story here).
Update: Globe is holding a press briefing this noon to discuss about this development and answer questions from the media.