Globe assumes control of Bayantel

Globe Telecom Inc has assumed control of Bayan Telecommunications Inc after completing a tender offer for the debt of the Lopez-led telco.

In a disclosure to the Philippine Stock Exchange on Wednesday, Ayala-led Globe said about 98.26 percent of the total remaining principal amount of Bayantel’s loans had been tendered as of December 21, the deadline for the settlement.

Globe also said 100 percent of the total remaining loans of RCPI were tendered and not withdrawn.

The overall acceptance level is about 96.17 percent, with all tenders validated and accepted for purchase by Globe.

Citibank N.A.-London Branch served as a tender agent, while Citi Global Markets Inc as the dealer manager.

National Telecommunications Commission approval is required to complete the acquisition.

After the acquisition, Globe will ask the rehabilitation court to amend the terms of the rehabilitation plan in the interest of assuring Bayantel’s long-term sustainability.

According to its rehabilitation plan, Bayantel still owes its creditors some $184.5 million out of the original $200 million in unsecured notes.

Bayantel has been under court-supervised rehabilitation since 2003, after it incurred liabilities worth $325 million.

Among its foreign creditors are Avenue Asia Investments LP, Avenue Asia International Ltd, Avenue Asia Special Situations Fund II LP, Avenue Asia Capital Partners LP, and Van Eck Global Opportunity Masterfund Ltd.

Bayantel’s local creditors include Development Bank of the Philippines, the United Coconut Planters Bank and Land Bank of the Philippines.

As of September, Bayantel had settled P908.28 million worth of debts. Since 2004, the telco had paid creditors a total of P8.19 billion.

Albert de Larrazabal, Globe chief financial officer, had said the company’s move to acquire Bayantel will enable both companies to become more competitive and help accelerate the completion of the Lopez-owned telco’s rehabilitation.

The National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) recently approved Globe’s application for the joint use of the 1750-1760 megahertz/1845-1855 megahertz frequencies assigned to Bayantel.

The joint use agreement will allow Globe to address increasing demand for voice, SMS and mobile data services, and Bayantel to offer its mobile telecommunications services to customers.

Bayantel’s existing nationwide network comprises satellite, terrestrial, as well as land and submarine-based cable facilities.

The network includes capacities in the National Digital Transmission Network (NDTN), a joint project of six Philippine telcos. Bayantel has an 83 percent capacity interest in the NDTN project, which is the only major alternative telecom backbone in the country.

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