The Philippines’ largest data centre operator, PLDT Inc. has said that it is not looking to dispose of its data centre assets, as the sale of its cell tower business will provide it with sufficient liquidity.
Chairman Manuel V. Pangilinan said there was no urgency to sell their data centre business as the company finalises a deal to raise over P50 billion from the divestment of cell tower assets. The sale of cell towers would relieve some of the “financial pressure” PLDT was facing as it set out to increase margins and lower debts in 2022, Pangilinan explained in a recent briefing, as reported by The Inquirer .
I think when the sale [of cell towers] does get completed in the course of the year, I think that should be enough to satisfy the financial targets and financial requirements of the company moving forward, particularly in relation to our goal of producing positive free cash flows and reducing debts, Pangilinan said.
Pangilinan also pointed out that PLDT was approached by foreign companies about the potential sale of its data centres but he said the company was still keen on growing the segment.
“That is something we should examine. How other data centres and similar entities have been successful, not only in their home markets but also globally. It’s a very interesting business model to emulate,” Pangilinan said.
PLDT, which is lowering capital spending from P89 billion last year to below P80 billion in 2022, is the country’s largest data center operator with a portfolio spanning 10 facilities with a combined 48-megawatt power capacity. Recently, commenced construction of its 11th and largest hyperscale data centre facility, a move that is expected to position the Philippines as the next digital hub and destination in Asia Pacific.
Philippines has seen a spate of big ticket investments in the data centre sector. The country expects to increase its rack space market to 400,000 sq. ft. by 2024. In June, Alibaba Cloud, the digital technology and intelligence backbone of Alibaba Group, announced its plans to build its first data centre in Manila by the end of this year.