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Globe seeks NTC okay for Bayantel takeover

Lawrence Agcaoili (The Philippine Star) - July 7, 2014 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - Ayala-led Globe Telecom Inc. expects the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) to approve the amended rehabilitation plan of cash-strapped Bayan Telecommunications Inc. within the month paving the way for the take over of a majority stake in the Lopez-owned company.

Globe president and chief executive officer Ernest Cu said the company is optimistic that the revised rehabilitation plan of Bayantel would be approved by NTC this July.

 “We are waiting for NTC to give us the approval. It is still regulatory at this stage. Hopefully sometime this July,” Cu said.

The approval of the revised rehabilitation plan of Bayantel would allow Globe to further raise its stake to about 57 percent from the existing 38 percent.

Globe general legal counsel Froilan Castello earlier said the approval of the amended rehabilitation is now on its fifth month as compared to the approval of the merger between dominant carrier Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co. and Digitel Telecommunications Philippines Inc. (Sun Cellular) that took nine months. “I think we are still on track and I guess we only have maybe a couple of more hearings to wrap it up and for NTC to decide after,” he said.

According to him, the company is pushing for the hastening of the approval process so both the subscribers of Globe and Bayantel could benefit from the merger of the two telecom providers.

“We need to fast track it and wrap it up immediately. We don’t want the advantages of Globe and Bayantel to be left hanging,” he added.

In May last year, Globe and the Lopez Group asked the rehabilitation court to restructure Bayantel’s $423.3 million debt to prevent default.

Bayantel’s outstanding debt stood at $497 million when it was placed under corporate rehabilitation in 2004. It has reportedly settled a total of P8.19 billion since it filed for supervised rehabilitation proceedings under the regional trial court in Pasig City and intends to pay its $325 million outstanding debt within 2023.

BAYAN TELECOMMUNICATIONS INC BAYANTEL DIGITEL TELECOMMUNICATIONS PHILIPPINES INC ERNEST CU FROILAN CASTELLO GLOBE GLOBE AND BAYANTEL GLOBE AND THE LOPEZ GROUP GLOBE TELECOM INC IN MAY
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