Philippine telecom giant buys into German Internet developer

August 07, 2014 - 1:15:12 pm

MANILA: Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co. (PLDT), the country's leading telecoms provider, said Thursday it was buying a 10-percent share in German Internet developer Rocket Internet for 333 million euros ($445 million).

The partnership will allow the two companies to "jointly develop mobile and online payment technologies and services in emerging markets", a PLDT statement said.

"The strategic partnership will allow us to leverage our combined strengths in developing online and mobile payment solutions in emerging markets," PLDT president Napoleon Nazareno was quoted as saying.

PLDT cited its "experience and intellectual property in mobile payments and remittance platforms", often used by the many Filipinos working abroad to send money back home.

It also cited the Berlin-based Rocket's ability "to provide products and services for the 'unbanked, uncarded and unconnected' population in emerging markets".

The investment will entitle PLDT to one seat on Rocket's nine-member supervisory board the statement said, adding that the investment would be sourced from available cash and new debt.

Rocket bills itself as the world's largest Internet platform outside of China and the United States, with a strong presence in Europe, Latin America, Russia, India, Africa and the Middle East. (AFP)