Angeles City―American private equity firm Warburg Pincus LLC is infusing $250 million into Converge ICT Solutions Inc.
Warburg Pincus managing director Saurabh Agarwal said the long-term partnership with Converge aimed to transform the lives of Filipinos across the Philippines and around the world by bringing high-speed fiber broadband to each barangay.
Converge president and chief executive Dennis Anthony Uy said the partnership with Warburg Pincus would allow Converge to reach more people and serve more Filipinos by providing the kind of internet access needed to thrive in today’s world and offer the most affordable service plans.
Uy said that only 63 percent of the Filipino population had direct access to the internet.
“Given how vital connectivity is in today’s lifestyle, that figure shows how considerable the gap to be bridged is. We need more investors in the IT industry. This is where Converge ICT can truly make a national impact,” Uy said.
Agarwal said Warburg Pincus, the oldest growth investor in the world with a 53-year history of investing, was among the first private equity firms to invest in Asia, starting in China and India 25 years ago and in Southeast Asia seven years ago. The company has invested more than $70 billion in 800 companies across 50 countries and currently has more than $60 billion under management and over $20 billion available in new capital to invest in exciting companies.
He said Warburg also sought to invest in market-leading companies with superior management teams and sustainable competitive advantages.
“And we saw in Converge all of these core strengths. Converge exemplifies a company that is uniquely able to capitalize on attractive macro fundamentals and secular tailwinds in the Philippines to grow, while at the same time, serving a critical yet unmet need of the Filipino people,” Agarwal said.
He said when Dennis Uy and his wife Grace set-out to build Converge in 2012, they wanted to make high-speed internet accessible to the Filipino people.
“Their vision and value proposition resonated well with many Filipinos, propelling Converge to become the fastest-growing telecoms company in the country. It is truly a remarkable business and growth story, and we attribute that to the leadership of Dennis and Grace, and the dedication of their teams. In the past 12 months that we’ve gotten to know them and their teams, I’ve seen how dedicated and persistent they’ve been in pursuit of excellence and growth,” Agarwal said.
Agarwal said the Philippines, with its young digital-savvy population and thriving services industries, combined with the country’s focus on infrastructure spending, was poised for further explosive growth, especially in the telecoms sector.
“Our $250-million investment in Converge will enable us to participate in addressing these growth needs with fast, reliable and yet affordable internet. We intend to leverage both our domestic and international partners, that includes our partners in government, to bring to Converge all the support it needs,” Agarwal said.
He said the funds from Warburg Pincus would help finance Converge’s plan to build a $1.8-billion nationwide internet backbone.