Digicel extends $3bn bond swap deadline for a third time

Denis O’Brien’s telco announced on Tuesday night that the deadline is being extended until November 16th

Denis O’Brien’s telco Digicel has, for the third time, extended a deadline for bondholders to sign up to a $3 billion (€2.6 billion) debt swap that it wants to finalise to ease the burden of its debt mountain. Photograph; Dara Mac Donaill / The Irish Times

Denis O’Brien’s telco Digicel has, for the third time, extended a deadline for bondholders to sign up to a $3 billion (€2.6 billion) debt swap that it wants to finalise to ease the burden of its debt mountain. Photograph; Dara Mac Donaill / The Irish Times

 

Denis O’Brien’s Caribbean and Pacific islands telco Digicel has, for the third time, extended a deadline for bondholders to sign up to a $3 billion (€2.6 billion) debt swap that it wants to finalise to ease the burden of its $6.7 billion debt mountain.

The company announced on Tuesday night that the deadline is being extended from November 2nd until one minute before midnight, east coast US time, on November 16th.

The latest extension has pushed the date out to six weeks ahead of the original timetable. The first deadline for acceptance of the bond swap was set for the last Friday in September, before it was pushed back to October 19th, and then again until the first Friday of November.

New terms

Mr O’Brien’s company wants holders of two different note classes to accept new terms, effectively giving the telco two extra years to repay the debt.

The request by the company applies to $2 billion of debts due for repayment in 2020, which it wants to push out until 2022, and $1 billion notes due in 2022, for which it wants to delay repayment until 2024.

The proposed changes have been resisted by a cohort of bondholders, delaying the plan. Digicel says it remains in “constructive discussions with an ad hoc group of noteholders”.