Digicel network company in Jamaica is looking to increase its 1.3B pound asset with new cashflow merger

The move comes as Digicel deals with ongoing interest payments on its almost US$7 billion debt.
The Irish Times quoted sources as saying that Digicel executives told bondholders on a call last week that the group’s liquidity levels remain tight but manageable.

The executives reportedly signalled the network joint venture talks without identifying which of the 32 markets in which Digicel operates across the Caribbean, Central America and Pacific islands is subject to the plan.

According to the Irish Times, while Digicel is estimated to have raised more than US$150 million from the sale of mobile towers in Jamaica, El Salvador and French West Indies in the past three years, a network-sharing accord would be a first for the group.

It added that Digicel would be able to raise proceeds by selling assets into a joint venture vehicle, which would be able to raise debt finance in its own right.

A partnership with another operator would also result in an overall reduction in future capital expenditure demands.

The Irish Times says a spokesman for Digicel declined to comment on the contents of the bondholder call.

Digicel Group is a leading global communications provider with operations in 31 markets in the Caribbean, Central America and Asia Pacific. After 14 years of operation, total investment to date stands at over US$5 billion worldwide.
The company, set up by Mr O’Brien in 2001, operates in 32 markets across the Caribbean, Central America and Asia Pacific regions.
It has spent more than $5 billion developing its networks and business, which has 14 million subscribers, according to its website. Mr O’Brien took $1.1 billion of dividends out of the group between 2013 and 2015.

Digicel offers prepaid and use-based calling and data plans, LTE broadband home solutions and phones and devices that vary by country and home market. O’Brien appears to expand into countries whose telecom industries have recently opened up as a result of liberalization or privatization.
But the company does have a soft side: Through the Digicel Foundation, it provides education and community development to improve the lives of more than 2.5 million people globally — including those recently affected by Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria.

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