PLDT partners with RED Engineering for ‘green’ data center

GLOBE Telecom, Inc. announced on Wednesday that it entered into a $350-million joint venture partnership with ST Telemedia Global Data Centres and Ayala Corp. to develop and operate data centers in the country.

Under the deal, ST Telemedia, a global data center company, and Ayala Corp. will subscribe to new shares in KarmanEdge, Inc., which is 100% owned by Globe.

KarmanEdge “will house the carved-out data center business, which has the potential to expand by up to 100-MW (megawatts) capacity in the mid to long term,” Globe said in a disclosure to the stock exchange.

“Post execution of the share subscription agreement, Globe will remain the largest shareholder with a 50% ownership, followed by ST Telemedia with 40% and Ayala Corp. taking up the balance,” it added.

Globe said that the capital infusion by the new partners will result in a post-money valuation of KarmanEdge at more than $350 million.

“Globe will receive proceeds of $100 million from the transaction with the remaining capital injected to be utilized by the business for future expansion & growth,” the company added.

The transaction is expected to be completed within the first quarter.

The project is seen to help speed up Globe’s efforts to scale up its capabilities in the data center space.

According to Globe, over 43% of ST Telemedia’s data centers are operating with power derived from renewable sources.

Globe has been operating data centers in the Philippines since 2001 through its subsidiary Innove Communications, Inc.

“We believe that this joint venture will be well-positioned to become the leader in the data center space in the Philippines,” said Ernest L. Cu, president and chief executive officer of Globe.

Meanwhile, the PLDT group said it is partnering with engineering firm RED Engineering for the construction of its data center in Sta. Rosa, Laguna.

RED Engineering is a global company of specialist building services and information and communications technology engineers.

According to the group, RED has led the drive towards the zero-carbon goal for over a decade.

The partnership “advances the PLDT group’s drive to incorporate renewable energy and best sustainable practices in the operations of our facilities moving forward,” said PLDT and Smart President and Chief Executive Officer Alfredo S. Panlilio.

“This partnership further signifies our commitment to constantly improve operational excellence, global competitiveness and ensure sustainable practices within our core,” he added.

The group announced last month that it would build additional 100 MW of data center capacity, starting with a new hyperscale, telco-neutral, and purpose-built facility in Sta. Rosa, Laguna.

The project will be carried out by PLDT, Inc.’s information and communications technology arm ePLDT.

The project will be the “first of a series of hyperscale data centers totaling to a power requirement of 100 MW over the medium term,” the group said.

Hastings Holdings, Inc., a unit of PLDT Beneficial Trust Fund subsidiary MediaQuest Holdings, Inc., has a majority stake in BusinessWorld through the Philippine Star Group, which it controls. — Arjay L. Balinbin