MIESCOR INFRASTRUCTURE DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION ACQUIRES TELCO TOWERS

The country’s journey towards a digital economy puts a strong emphasis on the need to further accelerate the utilization of digital technologies and innovation. The “new normal”, which was brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, continuously challenges us to adjust to a lifestyle shift that largely relies on connectivity for productivity.

The communication landscape has significantly evolved, and the telecommunications industry had to level up their products, services, and digital infrastructure to increase operational efficiencies and achieve customer satisfaction.

As part of its efforts to contribute in advancing the country’s digital infrastructure, MIESCOR Infrastructure Development Corporation (MIDC) has been on a lookout for opportunities and a significant one came just recently.

MIESCOR and Stonepeak partnered in late 2021 to actively pursue telco tower opportunities in the region. MIDC holds a license from the DICT to operate as an independent tower company.

MIDC, a joint venture between Manila Electric Co. (Meralco) subsidiary MIESCOR and leading global infrastructure investor Stonepeak, announced that it will acquire 2,180 towers and related passive telecom infrastructure from telco giant Globe under a sale and leaseback agreement valued at P26.2 billion.

The two likewise executed a Master Lease Agreement, under which Globe will be the anchor tenant of the telco towers at a monthly rate of P100,000 per tower for an initial period of 15 years. Globe also provided a firm commitment for additional 750 build-to-suit towers over a period of four (4) years.

The deal marks a significant milestone for MIDC, which aspires to become a major player in the common tower space by servicing the country’s leading mobile network operators.

For MIDC Chairman Ray C. Espinosa, “this landmark deal with Globe that marks a critical milestone in MIESCOR’s strategy to enter the digital infrastructure space, which plays a vital role in driving economic growth and social well-being through digital inclusion.”

MIDC Chairman Atty. Ray C. Espinosa (middle) and Globe Chairman Jaime Augusto Zobel de Ayala (6th from right) with officials from MIDC, Globe, and Stonepeak, during the signing of the tower sale and leaseback agreement on August 11, 2022.

“This also gives us the momentum to pursue more opportunities that will help us achieve our aspiration to become a trusted telco tower operator in the Philippines and eventually, a market leader in the digital infrastructure business,” Mr. Espinosa, who is also Meralco President and CEO.

SOLID PARTNERSHIP

MIDC is backed by MIESCOR’s expertise in the engineering, procurement, and construction business and Stonepeak’s extensive experience investing in towers and other digital infrastructure globally. Seen in the photo are MIESCOR leaders and personnel during a site visit.



MIDC is backed by MIESCOR’s expertise in the engineering, procurement, and construction business and Stonepeak’s extensive investing experience in towers and other digital infrastructure globally.

The two partnered in late 2021 to actively pursue telco tower opportunities in the region.

MIESCOR holds a license from the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) to operate as an independent tower company for a period of five (5) years. In 2021, the company actively pursued passive telco tower opportunities and has gained substantial traction since then by becoming one of the tower company partners of Smart and Globe.

Towards the end of 2021, the decision to focus not just on common towers but pursue the digital infrastructure business gave birth to its new subsidiary, MIDC. MIESCOR, then, transferred its DICT license to MIDC and partnered with Stonepeak, a leading alternative investment firm specializing in infrastructure and real assets.

Stonepeak has highly experienced executives with track records of managing tower company businesses in challenging geographies such as Bangladesh, Malaysia, Myanmar, Ghana, Kenya, Cambodia, and others. Its investments in digital infrastructure span across residential broadband, data centers, enterprise fiber, towers, and small cells.

“We are delighted to partner with MIESCOR and the MIDC team on this exciting opportunity with Globe,” said Stonepeak Senior Managing Director and Head of Asia and the Middle East Hajir Naghdy.

“This transaction is a great fit for our Asia Infrastructure strategy, which targets investments across energy transition, transportation and logistics, and communications and digital infrastructure, and represents a significant milestone for our growing Asia Pacific business.”

MORE RESILIENT FACILITIES AND BETTER CONSUMER EXPERIENCE

MIDC’s deal with Globe stemmed from the implementation of the government’s Common Tower Policy of the DICT in a bid to improve information, communication and technology (ICT) services in the country, especially in light of the pandemic.

The ultimate goal of the common tower policy is to allow multiple telcos collocating at a single site to share operating expenses, which can eventually lead to lower prices, wider coverage, and a better consumer experience.

The ultimate goal of the common tower policy is to allow multiple telcos collocating at a single site to share operating expenses, which can eventually lead to lower prices, wider coverage, and a better consumer experience.

This initiative also frees telco companies from the costly capital of building and operating their own telecommunication towers, with independent tower companies now engaged in the development of shared tower infrastructures and expansion of wireless network coverage. This allows telco companies to focus on their core business of providing improved services that their customers need.

The MIDC and Globe deal will benefit ordinary consumers, in terms of better network quality and more resilient infrastructure that can quickly recover from, if not withstand, typhoons and other calamities.

In taking part in the collective efforts to speed up the deployment and widen the reach of reliable Internet service, companies like MIDC also contribute to the government’s nation-building efforts.

This also bodes very well to President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.’s push for universal connectivity, expanded infrastructure development and innovation to ensure that that no Filipino will be left behind.

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