Digicel extends deadline for bond swap offer until end November

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Digicel extends deadline for bond swap offer until end November


Dennis O'Brien, chairman and co-founder of Digicel Group Ltd
Dennis O’Brien, chairman and co-founder of Digicel Group Ltd

Irish-owned telecommunications group Digicel has again extended a deadline it had set for bondholders to accept an offer to swap $3bn (€2.59bn) of outstanding debt for new securities with later maturity dates.

The new deadline is on November 30. The other terms and conditions of the proposal remain unchanged.

The original early tender deadline for the offer was September 14, but it has been continually pushed back, reflecting resistance from lenders to the terms on offer.

If accepted by lenders the deal will push back maturities on bonds scheduled to fall due in 2020 and 2022.

Until the latest extension the deadline to accept the offer was set for November 16.

Denis O’Brien-owned Digicel has proposed a deal that includes a new corporate structure in which new debt will be issued from two new holding companies inserted between its holding company Digicel Group Ltd and operating company Digicel Ltd.

The offer is to exchange $2bn of bonds due in 2020 that carry an 8.25pc interest rate, for up to $2bn of new bonds at the same interest rate but maturing in 2022.

Digicel also wants to swap $1bn of bonds that mature in 2022, and pay a 7.125pc interest rate, for $1bn of bonds due in 2024 – with interest of 8.25pc paid in a mix of cash and so-called payment-in-kind (PIK) notes – on which the interest rolls up as new debt.

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