Partners Group has partnered with the infrastructure investment arm of conglomerate Aboitiz to create a telecommunications infrastructure investment platform in the Philippines.

The global private markets firm said it will buy a joint lead equity stake in the Unity Digital Infrastructure platform, alongside Aboitiz InfraCapital.

According to people familiar with the matter, Partners Group, which invests on behalf of its clients, is committing  $174m (€144m) in the 50:50 joint venture with Aboitiz InfraCapital.

Partners Group said the newly created platform, which will build and operate telecommunications towers, will also benefit from new government-backed initiatives in the country to improve wireless service levels.

Grace del Rosario-Castaño, operating director, Unity Digital Infrastructure and member of the board of directors at Partners Group, said: “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, said: “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.”

Andrew Kwok, managing director, private infrastructure Asia, Partners Group, said: “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.”

Jansen Ang, member of management, private infrastructure Asia, Partners Group, said: “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.”

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