PLDT to buy controlling DigiTel stake

Melissa Chua
30 Mar 2011
Daily News

The Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company (PLDT) will acquire a majority stake in rival DigiTel, in a deal that will help it gain market share in the Philippines.

PLDT will buy 51.55% of DigiTel in a deal worth 74.1 billion pesos ($1.71 billion), with the transaction scheduled to take place by Q2 this year. PLDT is also expected to make an offer for the remaining Digitel shares held by public shareholders.

DigiTel is the operator of Sun Cellular, the country’s third-largest mobile operator. The acquisition is expected to net PLDT 15 million mobile subscribers to bring its total customer base to 60 million. The PLDT Group currently operates three other mobile brands in the Philippines – Smart, Talk N’ Text and Red Mobile. Its closet rival Globe Telecom has 25 million subscribers.

In addition, DigiTel will bring some 450,000 fixed-line subscribers to PLDT’s existing 1.8 million strong fixed-line customer base.

Sun Cellular’s mobile operations are expected to remain separate after the deal.

If the transaction goes ahead, it will be the Philippines' largest ever takeover deal, Finanical Timessaid.

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