Webb Henderson has advised SingTel on the $1.89 billion sale of its assets, marking a critical milestone in the reform of Singapore's telecoms sector.
SingTel sold its passive telecoms infrastructure assets into a separate business trust under CityNet Infrastructure Management Pte Ltd (CityNet) to support the ongoing operation of Singapore's Next Generation National Broadband Network (NGNBN).
SingTel entered into conditional agreements to sell certain infrastructure assets, including ducts, manholes and exchange buildings that are critical to the operation of the NGNBN, to CityNet in its capacity as trustee-manager of NetLink Trust.
Webb Henderson lawyers Angus Henderson, Ara Margossian, Andrew Walsh, Ish Omar and Korolyn Rouhani-Arani advised on the commercial arrangements for SingTel's ongoing use of the transferred infrastructure, whilst Allen & Gledhill of Singapore advised on the corporate elements of the transaction.
As part of the transaction, the parties also made commercial arrangements for the use of those passive infrastructure assets by SingTel to support its existing copper and fibre services and OpenNet fibre services.
"The sale and leaseback arrangements that underpin this transaction will shift the industry to a full open access model for the delivery of super-fast broadband services in Singapore," said Webb Henderson partner Ara Margossian.
"This new model entails a high degree of interworking between each of the separate layers that comprise the NGNBN to ensure effective service delivery ... [it's] being watched closely in other markets currently planning or implementing similar reforms to the industry structure for telecommunications."