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San Miguel to Sell Telecom Assets, Philippine Inquirer Reports

San Miguel to Sell Telecom Assets, Philippine Inquirer Reports”

PLDT and rival Globe will each acquire 50 percent of San Miguel's telco business.

"Private [telco] companies will not come here anymore, believe me, they're too scared", Ang said at the sidelines of San Miguel Brewery Inc.'s annual meeting.

Vega owns an equity stake in listed SMC unit Liberty Telecoms Holdings Inc.as well as in various companies including Bell Telecommunication Philippines Inc., Eastern Telecommunications Philippines Inc., Cobaltpoint Telecommunications Inc. They will pay P897 million more for New Century Telecoms Incorporated and eTelco, Incorporated.

For his part, Globe president and chief executive officer Ernest Cu said the telco's subscribers may start enjoying faster mobile Internet services within three to four months.

Shares of Globe were trading 5.58 percent higher on the Philippine Stock Exchange at 1:22 p.m., local time, Monday (1:22 a.m. EDT), while PLDT shares were up 9.13 percent.

SMC was initially looking for possible joint venture deals to launch its telco service in the country after talks with Australia's biggest telephone company Telstra Corp. "We hardly made anything from our divestment in the telecommunications business", Ang said.

PLDT and Globe would have a 50-50 ownership structure of Vega Telecom and other telecom assets of San Miguel.

To finance its purchase, PLDT will be using proceeds of the sale of 25 percent of its equity interest in Beacon Electric Asset Holdings to Metro Pacific Investments Corp. for P26.2 billion. The liabilities of P17.5 billion will be assumed by PLDT and Globe upon signing.

Ang said a government agency could assume the role of a third telco player, citing the Department of Science and Technology as an example. PLDT, in an advisory, said Pangilinan will hold a media briefing Monday.

Without mentioning companies by name, he said some potential partners had been deterred by legal complexities surrounding the development of the country's telecoms industry.

Pangilinan said he expected to improve the company's mobile broadband service in six months as PLDT could now access much-needed frequencies, especially the 700 megahertz.

"We're hoping that with the twin projects for enterprises and individual customers, they will have access to a more reliable and resilient network that addresses their need for ultra-fast data connectivity".

"We entered into this transaction as a solution to harmonise the spectrum assets in the country and immediately unlock the benefits of the underutilised frequencies".

San Miguel was also in talks with Globe for a tower sharing agreement.



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