Infra giant now into digital bid

There is a space that we are exploring and that is digital infrastructure

Breakthrough deal Aboitiz InfraCapital Inc. has entered into a landmark deal with Megawide Construction Corporation and GMR Airports International B.V. for AIC to acquire shares in GMR Megawide Cebu Airport Corporation, the developer and operator of the award-winning Mactan Cebu International Airport. Sealing the deal are (from left) GMR Megawide Cebu Airport Corporation chief executive advisor Andrew Harrison, GMR Megawide Cebu Airport Corporation president Louie Ferrer, Megawide Construction Corp. chairperson and CEO Edgar Saavedra, Aboitiz InfraCapital Inc., president and CEO Cosette Canilao and Aboitiz Group president and CEO Sabin Aboitiz. | Photograph courtesy of Aboitiz InfraCapital

After divesting its stakes at the Mactan Cebu International Airport, Megawide Construction Corp. is now taking a different path, this time the construction powerhouse wants to venture into digital infrastructure.

In an interview last Friday, Megawide chief business development officer Jaime Raphael Feliciano said the company has already set aside a substantial investment to build a new data center.

“There is a space that we are exploring and that is digital infrastructure. We’re trying an investment this year because it’s an exciting area we are expanding on. We feel that it’s a new area for us. It is the future. It is still infrastructure, which is our core expertise,” Feliciano told reporters.

“It’s something that we have looked at since last year. We have a partner already in place. We have signed preliminary documents,” he added, noting that the company will be partnering with a hyperscaler or a technology giant.

Sustainability essential

Data centers are a facility centralizing an organization’s shared IT operations and equipment to store, process, and disseminate data and applications. Since they house critical assets, data centers are important in sustaining the daily operations of a company.

Hyperscale, on the other hand, refers to investments undertaken by big-time technology companies to manage their data requirements.

“We see that there’s a gap in terms of serving the needs of certain clients, hyperscalers included. The trajectory seems to be that supply will be necessary to keep up with the demand, which, as we’ve seen, is steadily ramping up,” Feliciano said.

“Sustainability is very important nowadays, especially for our investors. Our capability to provide, to supply the data center with renewable energy makes us a (good) local partner,” he added.

According to property expert Colliers Philippines, the country, as an emerging data center hub in the region, had $298 million or close to P16 billion in investments in data centers due to the surging demand for e-commerce, cloud, and 5G services.

Telecommunications giant PLDT Inc. has earmarked about P13 billion to construct VITRO Sta. Rosa with a power capacity expandable to 100 megawatts. PLDT also said it is open to building more facilities nationwide.

Meanwhile, Converge ICT Solutions Inc. launched the Data Center (DC) Express, a service that can accommodate the growing capacity requirements of companies and even individuals. The DC Express uses a technology that uses up to 100 Gbps of transfer speed to data centers.

In March, GLOBE Telecom Inc. announced its $350-million joint venture partnership with ST Telemedia Global Data Centres and Ayala Corp. to develop and operate data centers.

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

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