Philippines Long Distance Telephone Company (PLDT) is in talks to sell a stake in its data center business.

PLDT chairman and chief executive officer Manuel V. Pangilinan told press at an event this week that the telco is considering having its data center business listed on the Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE) through a real estate investment trust (REIT), and is in talks to sell a stake in the asset to Japan’s NTT.

PLDT Tower in Manila, the Philippines
PLDT confirms desire to sell stake in data center portfolio – Wikimedia Commons

Reports the company was seeking to sell a stake in its data center business surfaced earlier this week.

The company is seeking a valuation of more than $1 billion for its data center portfolio, but aims to retain at least 51 percent of the unit. PLDT is in talks with multiple parties, including its own shareholder Japan’s NTT, which owns around 25 percent of the Philippine telco.

“If we cannot get the values from equity investors...we might go for a REIT of the data centers,” Pangilinan said. “Obviously, if we sell control, the data center will get more money and more premium, right? That's just how it is. So the question to PLDT is do we keep control of what we regard to be a strategic asset for the group?”

Founded in 1928 and headquartered in Makati City, PLDT owns and operates 10 data centers currently totaling 5,600 racks and 28MW through its subsidiary ePLDT.

The telco’s data centers span Cebu, Clark, Davao, Manila, Santa Rosa, Subic, and Sucat in the Philippines. The company is developing a 12th data center, with 50MW IT capacity in Laguna; the first 10MW phase is due live over the summer. A 12th, 100MW, data center is also in the planning phase.

This is not the first time that the Filipino telco has mooted disposing of its data center business. PLDT considered selling its data centers for $500 million in 2021, but the deal was put on hold. At the time, NTT backed the deal.

ePLDT, the ICT subsidiary of the PLDT group, recently established Vitro Inc. as the data center arm of the PLDT Group.

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