Dennis Uy, China Telecom ink $5.4 billion deal for 3rd telco

MANILA, Philippines – Dennis Uy's Udenna Corporation, Chelsea Logistics, and Beijing-run China Telecommunications formalized on Thursday, April 25, their $5.4 billion investment deal to develop and operate the Philippines’ 3rd major telecommunications provider.

The signing was held at the 2nd Belt and Road forum held in Beijing, China. Several business leaders from the Philippines, China, and other Asian nations witnessed the signing. 

“This is a historic occasion. This is another step forward in realizing Udenna’s vision to improve the lives of Filipinos. Everything that we do is about making lives better not just for this generation, but for the next generation. And that is happening here,” said Udenna chairman Dennis Uy.  

China Telecom said the partnership promotes “collaboration by advancing the availability of new and emerging technologies.” 

Udenna, Chelsea, and Chinatel had previously committed to invest P279 billion – or $5.4 billion – in Mindanao Islamic Telephone Company (Mislatel).

Mislatel was declared as the provisional new major player last November 2018 by the National Telecommunications Commission. Only the Mislatel consortium qualified for the bidding, as Chavit Singson’s Sear consortium and Philippine Telegraph and Telephone Corporation lacked all necessary bidding requirements. (READ: Blockbuster to lackluster: #TelcoSerye drama leaves people puzzled)

Uy has been rapidly and aggressively expanding his portfolio, with telecommunications as the biggest venture to date.

The Davao-based businessman previously admitted that he has no experience in telecommunications, but is confident that he can learn the ropes of running the business. (READ: Jitters over China in PH telco industry? They've long been here – DICT)

China Telecom is the 3rd largest telecommunications provider in China.

The rollout of Mislatel hit a snag this year due to its franchise issues. The Department of Information and Communications Technology wants Congress to convene through a bicameral committee to resolve the matter. –

Ralf Rivas

A sociologist by heart, a journalist by profession. Ralf is Rappler's business reporter, covering macroeconomy, government finance, companies, and agriculture.