Telstra In The Philippines: Months of Negotiations Ended

Telstra In The Philippines: Months of Negotiations Ended
Phone booths at the corner of Bourke & Elizabeth Rene Cunningham / FlickrCC BY 2.0
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The high hopes of many Filipinos for a better mobile wireless network service has finally ended after the months of negotiations between Telstra Corporation and San Miguel Corporation (SMC) did not result in an equity investment.


For the past months, reports have circulated that Telstra and the San Miguel Corporation were in talks over possible joint venture in the country. Since the reported talks have been confirmed, many Filipino mobile subscribers were excited of the possibility of having more options to choose from.

Until recently, people who are familiar with the agreement tipped that Telstra CEO Andy Penn announced internally that Telstra and SMC were “unable to reach commercial arrangements on a possible equity investment in a wireless joint venture in the Philippines and negotiations have therefore ceased.”

According to the source who saw Penn’s statements, both parties mutually agreed to finally terminate the months of negotiations over the weekend. This, the source noted, despite the effort that both parties have expert throughout the entire negotiation process.

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Telstra is one of the leading telecommunication companies in Australia, while SMC is a Filipino conglomerate that owns several companies that span in different industries. The two companies started talking at the negotiating table in August last year for the supposed $1-billion wireless network project.

“While this opportunity is strategically attractive, and we have great respect for San Miguel Corporation and its President [Ramon] Mr Ang, it was obviously crucial that the commercial arrangements achieved the right risk-reward balance for all involved,” Penn was quoted as saying by the source.

Despite the termination of the negotiations of joint venture in the Philippines, Penn said Telstra has offered its services to SMC, particularly its technical network design and construction consultancy support if the need arises. It added that even if the months of negotiations proved futile, for now, Telstra would remain committed to its operations in the Philippines.

“We remain on good terms with San Miguel Corporation and wish them all the best should they choose to proceed. We were excited by the opportunity to provide the Philippines with a world-class wireless network,” Penn added.

Ang, for his part said the termination of the talks was mutually agreed upon by both parties adding that he believes it was for the best, a Filipino online news portal Rappler reported.