Stonepeak scoops up over 2000 towers in the Philippines from Globe Telecom

Silhouette, telecommunication towers with TV antennas, satellite dish in sunset

Stonepeak, an investment firm which specialises in infrastructure and ‘real assets’, is buying 2,180 towers in the Philippines from Globe Telecom for $472 million.

Stonepeak is making the move through Miescor Infrastructure Development Corporation which is a newly formed joint venture between itself and Meralco Industrial Engineering Services Corporation. Stonepeak has been involved in various big scale tower transactions globally in recent years though this is its first swoop in the Asia Pacific region.

As part of the $472 million transaction, MIDC and Globe signed a Master Lease Agreement, under which Globe will be the anchor tenant of the telecom towers for15 years. Globe has also apparently commissioned MIDC to construct 750 additional build-to-suit towers over the next four years, which it can also rent off of them.

“As Stonepeak continues to expand its presence in the Asia Pacific region, we remain deeply committed to sourcing attractive digital infrastructure investment opportunities for our limited partners,” said Darren Keogh, Senior Managing Director at Stonepeak. “We believe the growth prospects in the Philippines mobile tower industry are robust and as such are excited to acquire this substantial portfolio of tower assets with Globe as a long-term anchor tenant and the opportunity to build additional towers over the next four years.”

MIDC Chairman Ray Espinosa added: “We are very pleased to be partnering with Stonepeak on this landmark deal with Globe that marks a critical milestone in MIDC’s strategy to enter the digital infrastructure space, which plays a vital role in driving economic growth and social well-being through digital inclusion. 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.”

Stonepeak has been involved in all sorts of tower deals recently, and a data centre deal with American Towers last month saw it expand its interests in edge compute and 5G. The trend towards investment firms and tower cos, which is a relatively new type of business, buying up towers from mobile operators seems to be a global phenomenon. Operators get a big wedge of cash and normal service is resumed at least in the short term since agreements to ‘rent’ the towers back are baked into the transaction, though how the dynamic evolves in the years to come remains to be seen.


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