KKR invests in Philippine telco tower builder Pinnacle Towers

Photo by Tony Stoddard on Unsplash

Private equity giant KKR & Co has made its second infrastructure investment in the Philippines with the acquisition of an undisclosed stake in Pinnacle Towers, a telecommunications builder and operator that seeks to build telco towers in the country.

In a statement, KKR said it made the investment in Pinnacle Towers through its infrastructure fund, marking its fourth overall investment in the Philippines market. Financial details of the investment were not disclosed.

In June, the PE major had agreed to acquire about 11.9 per cent in the listed Philippines power developer First Gen Corp for $192.2 million. The acquisition was carried out by Singapore-based Valorous Asia Holdings, a wholly-owned subsidiary of KKR.

Pinnacle aims to build an independent telecom tower platform in the Philippines to help telcom firms meet the demand for reliable, data-rich, high-speed, and affordable connectivity.

Its local subsidiary, Frontier Tower Associates Philippines (FTAP), is one of the first independent tower companies in the country to secure a provisional licence to operate.

David Luboff, partner and head of Asia Pacific Infrastructure at KKR, noted that the Philippines’ telecom sector has grown rapidly in the past few years on the back of increasing demand for connectivity. This, he added, has led to the need to expand existing infrastructure to allow operators to provide better service and coverages.

“Our investment in Pinnacle reiterates our commitment to addressing this need and supporting the Philippines’ transition to a connected, digital nation,” Luboff stressed.

Southeast Asia is a key part of KKR’s Asia infrastructure strategy, and KKR’s investment in Pinnacle further boosts the firm’s track record as an active investor in Southeast Asia across asset classes.

Aside from First Gen and Pinnacle, KKR has also invested in Metro Pacific Hospitals, the country’s largest private hospital operator and healthcare network, and in Voyager Innovations, a technology company.

KKR has so far raised approximately $13 billion for its fourth Asia-focused buyout fund, which is already a record figure and the largest pan-Asia private equity fund in the world.

Pinnacle Chairman and CEO Patrick Tangney said KKR’s investment comes at a pivotal time as the Philippines is one of the world’s fastest-growing and most dynamic mobile markets.

“Together with KKR, we look forward to furthering our goal of providing high-quality telecom infrastructure solutions that improve the lives of mobile users in the Philippines and other relevant markets in Asia Pacific,” Tangney said.

The investment also comes as President Rodrigo Duterte has appealed anew to telcos to improve their services. In July, he urged the existing telco companies to improve their services in the next five months or the country will do away with them.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.