By James A. Loyola
PLDT, Inc., the leading telecommunications and digital services provider in the Philippines, is seeking the consent of its bondholders to increase the ratio of its debt to earnings before taxes, interest, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA).
In a disclosure to the Philippine Stock Exchange the firm said it is undertaking a consent solicitation exercise relating to its 5.2250 percent 7-Year Fixed Rate Bonds due 2021 and 5.2813 percent 10-Year Fixed Rate Bonds due 2024.
PLDT wants to amend its maximum stand-alone Total Debt to EBITDA Ratio stipulated in the Trust Indenture from 3.0:1 to 4.0:1 (the Proposed Amendment).
It explained that, the Proposed Amendment will provide the firm with greater flexibility to support, if necessary, higher levels of capital expenditures and general corporate requirements.
This is in the light of the pipeline of network expansion programs that PLDT would like to undertake and in order to serve the increasing data requirements of its customers so as to strengthen PLDT’s market position.
Moreover, it will align the covenant ratio of PLDT’s outstanding debt capital market issuances with that of the existing bilateral facilities of both PLDT and its wholly-owned subsidiary, Smart Communications, Inc.
The consent solicitation exercise will be from October 16, 2019 up to November 15, 2019 (12 p.m., Philippines), unless such expiration date is adjusted to an earlier or later time or date by PLDT in its sole discretion.