NTT Buys 15 Percent of Philippines Phone Company

TOKYO (03/27/2000) - NTT Communications Corp., a unit of Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corp. (NTT), has completed its investment in Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co. (PLDT), the company announced today.

The Japanese carrier paid 28.7 billion pesos (US$679.1 million) for a 15 percent stake in PLDT, said company spokeswoman Akiko Kato. PLDT is the Philippines' major telecommunications carrier with a service menu consisting of local, long distance and international services.

The complicated deal, outlined in June 1999, called for NTT to hand over 14.7 billion pesos in cash and its entire stake in Smart Communications Inc., a local carrier in the Philippines, valued at 13.1 billion pesos. Smart was majority owned by NTT and Metro Pacific, a Philippine affiliate of First Pacific Co. Ltd. which is also a major shareholder in PLDT. Following the deal, First Pacific said it would convert its 56 percent stake in Smart Communications into new common stock of PLDT making Smart a PLDT subsidiary.

The deal gives NTT a stake in a major Asian telecommunications carrier. PLDT, according to NTT, commands a 60 percent share of the domestic fixed line market and a 68 percent share of the international services market. Elsewhere in the region, NTT holds a major stake in Sri Lanka Telecom Co. Ltd. and 20 percent of Singapore's StarHub Pte. Ltd.

NTT Communications, in Tokyo, can be contacted at +81-3-3500-8111 or online at http://www.ntt.com/world/.

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