Denis O’Brien, founder and Chairman of Digicel, an operator present in about 25 markets across the Caribbean and Central America, is reportedly asking for extra time for the company to make debt repayments.
According to the Irish Times, he has apparently asked investors in $925 million of bonds due to be repaid next week for an initial 30-day grace period before an event of default would be triggered. The company is involved in ongoing discussions on debt restructuring.
Signs are positive that most bondholders are happy with this grace period and would even be willing to extend it by a further 60 days if Digicel entered a restructuring support agreement in the meantime with owners of a majority of the notes.
The Irish Times points out that this would be to the company’s third debt restructuring since early 2019. The sale of the Digicel Pacific unit, which we reported in July last year, seems to have earned the group a significant sum, removing well over US$1 billion from its debt pile.
However, it is still trying to manage a large amount of debt, a situation not helped by last year’s unrest in Haiti, a key market for the company, or rises in global interest rates over the past year.