Telstra To Set Up Wireless Venture With Filipino Giant
At stake is a possible investment in a wireless joint venture in the Asian nation with San Miguel Corporation – best kno wn for its beer-making, though in fact it is a huge conglomerate with many interests. Financing is being sought for the venture, Telstra said.
“We are in discussions in relation to these matters,” Telstra said in a short statement. “However, no agreements have been reached in relation to these matters and there is no certainty that this will occur.”
However both companies are known to have been gearing up for the move, with San Miguel hiring key telecommunications staff, while Telstra has been hiring local staff who understand the Philippines’ markets and languages.
“We note recent speculation concerning Telstra considering an investment in a wireless joint venture in the Philippines with San Miguel, and that financing is being sought in relation to that joint venture,” Telstra told the Australian Securities Exchange. “We are in discussions in relation to these matters.”
Under Andy Penn’s new leadership, Telstra has continued pushing deeper into the Asian market through partnerships with local carriers. A joint venture with Indonesian telecoms giant Telkom Indonesia started selling products this year and is understood to be performing well.
Telstra also bought Asian telecommunications service provider Pacnet for US$697 million late last year.
– Telecommunications commentator Paul Budde last night told CDN: “Telstra is flush with money and there is only so much it can invest in the limited size of the Australian market (where it is already dominant).
“So in order to maximise the results for its shareholders there is no other way than to look outside the country if it want to stick to the market its knows well: telecoms.
“It is in this context that the investments in the Philippines and other overseas investments need to be looked at.”