What’s up with… Globe, InfraVia and Play, NTT
- Globe turns to shareholders to boost capex coffers
- InfraVia to take a 50% stake in wholesale broadband venture with Poland’s Play
- NTT swings towards remote working for staff in Japan
In today’s industry roundup: Globe to boost its capex warchest by issuing new shares; Iliad’s Polish operator, Play, finds a partner for its wholesale broadband unit; NTT set to try out permanent remote working for 30,000 staff in Japan; and more!
Globe Telecom, the largest telco in the Philippines with more than 87 million mobile subscribers, is set to fund a broader rollout of its mobile and broadband network infrastructure and expand its digital services activities by raising 32bn Philippine pesos (PHP) (US$591m) from its shareholders through a Stock Rights Offer, the telco has announced. Globe has invested heavily in its network infrastructure over the past four years to support the data traffic volumes generated by its customers. It says it has invested 250bn PHP (US$4.6bn) in its networks and plans to pump a further 89bn PHP (US$1.65bn) into its infrastructure and supporting systems in 2022. It also notes it has already been investing in digital services systems, such as its fintech platform GCash, as well as digital healthcare, e-commerce, entertainment and advertising technology (adtech) platforms. Digital healthcare is emerging as a particular focus area for telcos as they branch out into new markets – just last week we reported how Canadian telco Telus is bolstering its existing healthcare services business with a major acquisition and that others, including Australia’s Telstra, have also identified a similar opportunity. (See Canada’s Telus bets on digital health sector growth with $1.8bn acquisition.)
InfraVia Capital Partners is taking a 50% stake in FiberForce, a subsidiary of Polish network operator Play, for 1.775 zlotys (PLN) (US$402mn). Play is to create FiberForce by transferring a business that manages 3.7 million cable broadband and fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) connections across Poland from UPC Poland, which Play’s parent company, Iliad, acquired earlier this year. FiberForce will operate as a wholesale provider of fixed broadband connectivity to any service provider that wants to use its infrastructure. The realignment of assets is all part of the new strategy underway at Play, which in 2020 became part of the growing European network operator empire being built by disruptive French company Iliad. (See Iliad makes a €1.53 billion play for UPC Poland and France’s Iliad buys Polish mobile operator Play.)
NTT is reportedly set to take a major step towards embracing remote working practices for staff in its domestic market with an initial introduction of permanent remote working contracts for 30,000 of the telco’s 180,000 staff based in Japan, reports Japan Today. One of the main reasons for introducing more flexible working options is to retain talent, according to the report. For more on this topic, see TelecomTV’s recent feature Hybrid working – too late to stop it now.
French private equity firm Ardian is reported to have acquired Spanish wholesale network operator Aire Networks for more than €600 million, according to El Economista. This isn’t Ardian’s first acquisition in Spain: In 2021, it splashed out more than €1bn (US$1.05bn) to buy wholesale fibre broadband access network operator Adamo Telecom.
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