Singapore; 28 April 2021
Partners Group, a leading global private markets firm, has jointly established a telecommunications infrastructure platform, Unity Digital Infrastructure ("Unity"), in the Philippines, on behalf of its clients. Partners Group will acquire a joint lead equity stake alongside Aboitiz InfraCapital of the Aboitiz Group, a large Philippine conglomerate with extensive infrastructure experience.
Unity will build and operate telecommunications towers in the Philippines. There is strong demand for these assets, with the volume of data traffic in the country forecast to grow at a 45% CAGR until 2025, and Unity aims to yield secure, long-term contracted cashflows with telecommunications providers. Unity will also support the transformative trends around digitization and rising data consumption in the Philippines, which Partners Group has been following through its thematic investing approach. Additionally, Unity will benefit from new government-backed initiatives in the country to improve wireless service levels, including the introduction of industry targets to build at least 50,000 new towers.
Partners Group will draw on its extensive international experience of successfully building out infrastructure platforms to create a leading telecommunications platform that will improve communications reliability for local communities in the Philippines. Key value creation initiatives will include building and operating towers, acquiring tower portfolios, and increasing tenancy levels. These transformational initiatives aim to maximize Unity's potential to have broad positive stakeholder impact by increasing access to communication and improving poor service quality across the country. The Unity team includes seasoned professionals from tower companies across the world and the co-founder of successful tower companies Protelindo in Indonesia and Pan Asia Majestic Eagle Limited (PAMEL) in Myanmar.
Grace del Rosario-Castaño, Operating Director, Unity Digital Infrastructure and Member of the Board of Directors, Partners Group, comments: "The telecommunications infrastructure sector in the Philippines is undergoing rapid change. The urgent need to expand the country's infrastructure is creating opportunities for new providers to quickly capture market share. The combination of Unity's management team, which consists of experienced tower builders, with Partners Group and Aboitiz's platform building experience, operational expertise and significant local resources, will be highly valuable as we grow the platform."
Cosette Canilao, President and CEO, Aboitiz InfraCapital, shares: "Now more than ever, it is crucial to build robust, modern, and efficient telecommunications infrastructure to support the country's economic recovery and growth. With Unity, we hope to create meaningful impact in the lives of Filipinos who rely on the internet for their livelihood, schooling, and other daily tasks, in cooperation with the government and the Mobile Network Operators. We are delighted to be working with global experts from Partners Group in building enabling digital infrastructure and uniting communities."
Andrew Kwok, Managing Director, Private Infrastructure Asia, Partners Group, states: "Our Thematic Research team has tracked the telecommunications tower sector in the Philippines for years as an attractive investment opportunity for our clients. The Philippines is experiencing strong GDP and population growth rates, yet lags behind other Southeast Asian countries in network connectivity, driving the clear need for more tower infrastructure. Our vision is to transform Unity into one of the leading telecommunications infrastructure providers in the Philippines."
Jansen Ang, Member of Management, Private Infrastructure Asia, Partners Group, adds: "We are excited about the meaningful stakeholder impact that Unity will bring to the Philippines by improving network service quality and reliability, enabling people to stay connected as well as benefiting local economies through enhanced communication."