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Philippine Telco PLDT Said to Mull $500 Million Data-Center Sale

PLDT Inc., one of the biggest telecommunications and digital services providers in the Philippines, is working with JPMorgan Chase & Co. on the potential sale of its data centers, according to people with knowledge of the matter.

A deal for the assets could be worth as much as $500 million, the people said, asking not to be identified because the information is private. Separately, PLDT is also weighing disposing of its towers in an $800 million sale and leaseback arrangement, Bloomberg News reported in July.

A successful sale of the data centers would see the Southeast Asian company headed by tycoon Manuel Pangilinan follow in the footsteps of Hong Kong’s PCCW Ltd., which sold its own facilities in July. Demand for digital infrastructure has increased globally as companies step up technology investments, while the Covid-19 pandemic has also caused a surge in online activity.

Deliberations are still ongoing and PLDT may decide to keep the data centers, the people said. Representatives for PLDT didn’t immediately reply to text messages and an email seeking comment, while a spokeswoman for JPMorgan declined to comment.

PLDT, which has a market value of about 318 billion pesos ($6.4 billion), is backed by Japan’s Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corp. and Hong Kong-based investment firm First Pacific Co., according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The company’s total mobile subscribers stood at about 78 million by the end of June, while it had about 3.5 million users for its broadband services, its latest presentation showed.

PLDT’s data centers are held by unit ePLDT Inc. The group owns a network of 10 globally certified data facilities located across the country, with a total capacity of 72MW and over 9,000 racks, according to a press release in June.

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