NTT eyes strategic stake in PLDT’s datacentre business

  • NTT is negotiating with PLDT to acquire up to 49% of its datacentre business
  • NTT is aiming to expand its presence in South-east Asia's growing digital infrastructure market

In a move that underscores the growing interest in South-east Asia's digital infrastructure, Japan’s largest telco, NTT, is in talks to acquire up to 49% of the datacentre business of Philippine telco PLDT. 

The potential investment could value PLDT’s datacentre business at approximately US $750m, according to sources cited by Reuters.

 Robust and scalable datacentre capabilities are becoming crucial and have driven significant interest and investment in the sector across the region. For PLDT, the Philippines’ largest telecom group, this deal represents an opportunity to reduce its debt and finance new and ongoing projects. 

“PLDT’s extensive network of datacentres positions it well to benefit from increased demand for digital infrastructure,” PLDT chairman Manuel Pangilinan told Reuters. With 11 datacentres managed by its subsidiary, ePLDT, the company is already a significant player in this space. This potential partnership with NTT could further enhance its capabilities and market reach. 

The deal is expected to be finalised in the second half of the year. This follows a trend of significant investments in the region’s datacentre infrastructure, highlighted by global investment firm KKR’s purchase late last year of a 20% stake in Singtel’s regional datacentre business for up to 1.1bn Singapore dollars (US$806m). 

The collaboration between PLDT and NTT is expected to serve as a blueprint for other telecom and tech companies looking to capitalise on the burgeoning demand for data infrastructure in South-east Asia.

The investment would also enable NTT to further strengthen its already significant presence in South-east Asia, a market that is increasingly seen as a hotbed for digital and technological growth. As well as Singapore, the company has a number of datacentres in Hong Kong, Indonesia, Thailand and Malaysia. Notably, it has facilities in the Multimedia Super Corridor in Malaysia, the latest of which is the Cyberjaya 6 datacentre, which offers 7MW of critical IT load and 4,890m² of server space designed for hyperscaler demand and high-end enterprise needs.

NTT is also one of the companies building facilities in Vietnam, which has become an attractive location for new datacentre construction – see Vietnam now a magnet for datacentre developers.

- Joana Bagano, Contributing Editor, TelecomTV

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