Sunday 18 March 2018

Denis O'Brien's Digicel set to refinance $935m (€854m) of term loans

Businessman Denis O’Brien. Photo: Bloomberg
Businessman Denis O’Brien. Photo: Bloomberg

Donal O’Donovan

Denis O’Brien’s Digicel is set to push back its debt maturity profile and shift more of its overall capital structure from bonds to terms loans, by increasing a market refinancing currently under way.

The deal will see a current refinancing of about $935m (€854m) of term loans increased to around $1.255bn (€1.15bn) on the back of investor demand. The additional funds will be used to repay in full $250m (€228m) of outstanding 7pc senior bonds due to be repaid in early 2020.

Last week Digicel agreed a deal to buy IDOM Technologies, a business-focused communications provider that operates in French Overseas Territories in the West Indies and Indian Ocean.

As part of the deal, Digicel will acquire IDOM's 265km of fibre optic network, which will bring Digicel Group's total fibre footprint to 6,000km.

Read More: Digicel expands business solutions arm with acquisition

IDOM Technologies operates in the French off-shore territories of Martinique, Guadeloupe, French Guiana and La Reunion.

The IDOM deal is Digicel's first acquisition since it launched a group-wide rationalisation programme dubbed "Digicel 2030" earlier this year. That programme will see around a quarter of Digicel's 6,000 worldwide jobs cut over 18 months as back-office functions are centralised in a small number of regional hubs rather than organised in each territory where the business operates.

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