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Globe completes tender offer for Bayantel debt means BUSINESS

MANILA - Globe Telecom on Thursday said it has completed its tender offer for the debt of Bayan Telecommunications Inc. 

In a disclosure to the Philippine Stock Exchange, the Ayala-led telco said 92.90 percent of the debt papers were tendered, adding that it would pay Bayantel's creditors no later than December 21, New York time. 

According to its rehabilitation plan, Bayantel still owes its creditors some $184.5 million out of the original $200 million in unsecured notes.

Bayantel has been under court-supervised rehabilitation since 2003, as the Lopez-owned telco incurred liabilities worth $325 million.

Among its foreign creditors are Avenue Asia Investments LP, Avenue Asia International Ltd, Avenue Asia Special Situations Fund II LP, Avenue Asia Capital Partners LP, and Van Eck Global Opportunity Masterfund Ltd.

Bayan's local creditors include Development Bank of the Philippines, the United Coconut Planters Bank and Land Bank of the Philippines.

Globe, which had a market capitalization of P149.6 billion at end-2011, had said it intends to seek an amendment to Bayantel's rehabilitation plan to ensure its long-term sustainability. The current plan expects Bayantel and unit RCPI to remain in rehabilitation until 2023.  

As of September, Bayantel had settled P908.28 million worth of debts. Since 2004, the telco had paid creditors a total of P8.19 billion.

Albert de Larrazabal, Globe chief financial officer, had said its move to acquire Bayantel will enable both companies to become more competitive and help accelerate the completion of the Lopez-owned telco's rehabilitation.

The National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) recently approved Globe’s application for the joint use of the 1750-1760 megahertz/1845-1855 megahertz frequencies assigned to Bayantel. 

The joint use agreement will allow Globe to address increasing demand for voice, SMS and mobile data services, and Bayantel to offer its mobile telecommunications services to customers.

Bayantel's existing nationwide network comprises satellite, terrestrial, as well as land and submarine-based cable facilities.

The network includes capacities in the National Digital Transmission Network (NDTN), a joint project of six Philippine telcos. Bayantel has an 83 percent capacity interest in the NDTN project, which is the only major alternative telecom backbone in the country.