Globe open to pursuing M&As over 700-MHz spectrum

The Philippines' Globe Telecom has revealed it is open to the possibility of acquiring conglomerate San Miguel Corporation's (SMC's) telecom subsidiaries to give it access to valuable 700-MHz spectrum.

Globe's CEO Ernest Cu told the Inquirer said the company would be open to acquiring SMC's Wi-Tribe and High Frequency Telecommunications units, considering that efforts to appeal to regulator NTC to allocate it a portion of the spectrum have repeatedly been rebuffed since as early as 2005.

He said the prospect of buying the companies comes up occasionally and the company is always open to considering a deal.

SMC controls the entire 700-MHz band via its ISP subsidiaries. The company had been planning to form a joint venture with Australian operator Telstra to become the Philippines' third mobile operator, but this partnership was called off last month after negotiations stalled.

According to the report, SMC still plans to use the spectrum to launch a mobile venture this year, initially targeting the metro Manilla region.

Globe and rival PLDT are meanwhile persisting in efforts to convince the NTC to assign portions of the band to them. The most recent attempt involved an appeal to the Philippine Competition Commission filed in February.

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