Philippines-based challenger operator DITO Telecommunity secured a 15-year US$3.9 billion loan from a group of multinational banks to fund its network rollout.
In a statement, parent company DITO CME Holdings Corp said the facility will be one of the largest long-term debt arrangements for a Philippines company.
Around US$1.3 billion will be used to pay off short-term bridge loan facilities with the balance to pay contractors and fund the continuing network rollout of its subsidiary DITO Telecommunity. The cash injection will enhance customer experience and also be used to accelerate the uptake of DITO’s FWA 5G and post-paid products.
The operator stated the loan is a “key milestone” to ensure the company stays on track with its long-term targets and potentially hit them earlier. DITO Telecommunity launched commercial operations in March 2021, challenging PLDT-owned Smart Communications and Globe Telecom. The Manila Times reported, that DITO is aiming to to break even in 2025 and turn a profit in 2028.
DITO CME President Ernesto Alberto said: “This project finance facility represents strategic trust and confidence in the vision of the Company to be a major enabler of digital services in the Philippines.”
Operators in the Philippines have been in a race to raise cash to fuel network rollouts. Incumbent operators Globe and PLDT have been selling off legacy towers in rental deals raising billions of dollars.