KKR to invest $400M in Philippine telecoms tower business

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MANILA – Private equity firm KKR & Co will invest $400 million in telecoms tower operations and expansion in the Philippines, the U.S. Department of Commerce said on Wednesday, among a slew of deals in a $1 billion investment announced in a landmark trade mission.

KKR will develop and acquire roughly 2,000 telecoms towers to support digital connectivity across the Philippines, the department said in a statement following a two-day trade and investment mission led by U.S. Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo.

In 2022, a unit of KKR acquired 3,529 telecoms towers for P45 billion ($814.73 million) in a sale and leaseback deal with Philippines’ Globe Telecom Inc. The KKR unit bought another 1,012 towers for over P12.1 billion from PLDT Inc.

The U.S. Commerce Department announced American investments of more than $1 billion in the Philippines during the trade mission that included executives from 22 companies including United Airlines, Alphabet’s Google, Visa, and Microsoft.

Ally Power, a Maryland startup, announced a more than $400 million agreement with a unit of power distributor Manila Electric Co to build a hydrogen and electric refueling station.

Microsoft is working with the Philippine central bank and the ministries of budget and trade to identify how its AI products can boost the agencies’ productivity, the commerce department said.

The United States seeks to deepen defence and economic ties with the Philippines, on the backdrop of a more aggressive China in the South China Sea. — Reuters