Wednesday 20 November 2019

Digicel announces plans to raise $700m in private bond placement

Donal O'Donovan

Donal O'Donovan

Emerging markets mobile phone operator Digicel Group has announced plans to raise $700m (€556m) through a private bond placement.

Proceeds of the deal will be used to refinance existing debt and push back Digicel's maturity profile by funding the repurchase or early redemption of bonds due to mature 2015. The new bond will mature in 2020.

Bermuda-based Digicel Group is owned by Irishman Denis O'Brien and is active in 31 markets across across the Caribbean, in Central America and the Pacific, including major operations in Jamaica and Haiti.

Digicel posted annual earnings of over $1bn in the year to the end of March, for the first time since it launched back in 2000. Earnings climbed 13pc to $1.08bn in the period.

Revenue was up 14pc last year and customer numbers hit 12.8 million at the end of last March.

The latest growth comes on the back of a growth in data revenue which is fuelled by a 4G mobile offering that is available in 14 Digicel markets. Fitch assigned a B rating to the planned new bonds, while Moody's assigned a Caa1 to rating to the new issue and affirms Digicel's B2 credit rating, after the announcement of the planned new issue.

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