PLDT selling major assets to fund record 2020 capex
PLDT last year revived plans of redeveloping its head office in Makati and selling some of its properties to lessen the company’s borrowings for its capex.
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PLDT selling major assets to fund record 2020 capex
Richmond Mercurio (The Philippine Star) - January 2, 2020 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Telecommunications and digital services provider PLDT Inc. is pushing through with the sale of some of its assets as well as its remaining stake in Berlin-based Rocket Internet this year to support the company’s record-high capital spending for 2020.

PLDT chairman and CEO Manuel V. Pangilinan said the company has already received bids for Smart Tower which is a 36-story office building along Ayala Avenue in Makati.

He said PLDT could raise at least P5 billion from the sale of the Smart Tower alone.

“So we will sell that. We’re also selling three other minor properties,” Pangilinan said.

PLDT last year revived plans of redeveloping its head office in Makati and selling some of its properties to lessen the company’s borrowings for its capex.

Aside from the Smart Tower, PLDT’s other major properties include the Ramon Cojuangco Building located along Makati Ave. and the Makati General Office in Legazpi Village, which cover a combined area of 8,000-square meters.

“We plan to sell all our Rocket shares within the year. We still have two million shares,” Pangilinan said.

PLDT chief finance officer Anabelle Chua earlier said the company’s remaining Rocket Internet shares was equivalent to about P2.5 billion in market value.

Rocket Internet is a Berlin-based company that builds online startups and owns shareholdings in various internet retail businesses.

PLDT, which invested 333 million euros in Rocket Internet in 2014, sold a portion of its 6.1 percent stake in Rocket Internet in 2018 for P10.5 billion.

PLDT is allocating another record high spending budget this year, its third consecutive year of doing so.

Asked for its capital expenditures budget for this year, Pangilinan said it would be “bigger than 2019,” without disclosing the actual amount.

Since 2017, PLDT has appropriated record high levels of capex. The company has allocated a record P78.4-billion for its capex in 2018, a significant jump from the P58 billion budget the previous year.

SMART TOWER
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