8 Dec 2011
The Business Mirror newspaper reports that the Filipino regulator, the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC), has approved the proposed sale and transfer of cash-strapped Bayan Telecommunications (Bayan’s) assets to fellow operator Multimedia Telephony Inc (MTI). The paper cites NTC commissioner Gamaliel Cordoba as saying that, having checked and reviewed the details of the application, the watchdog has given the go-ahead concerning ‘the omnibus application for authority to transfer local exchange carrier services (LEC), as well as for the issuance of provisional authority and for the issuance of a certificate of public convenience and necessity, in favour of MTI’. It is understood that on 20 May 2011 Bayan and MTI submitted documents to support the proposed sale and transfer, including incorporation papers and the rehabilitation court’s resolution approving the sale of Bayan’s CDMA equipment to MTI. The Business Mirror notes that Bayan was required to seek the court’s approval since it was placed under rehabilitation for unpaid debts amounting to USD325 million.
Lopez-owned Bayan said in a statement: ‘The purpose of this submission is to prove that Bayan and MTI each has the requisite legal capacity to enter into agreements for the sale and transfer of its [wireless in the local loop (WiLL)] assets and related rights and interests to MTI; that MTI has the legal capacity to take over the LEC operations of Bayan; to prove that the required corporate approvals have been obtained; and that the rehabilitation court has issued a resolution approving the sale and transfer of Bayan’s CDMA equipment to MTI.’
The NTC has now rubber-stamped the deal in the wake of the review of the financial capability of both companies, as well as the technical and economic viability of the proposed transaction. As such, Bayan’s assets – including the licences, permits for WiLL equipment and other authorities for its ‘Bayan Wireless Landline’ service – will pass to MTI. Bayan’s WiLL service uses the CDMA platform, the same technology being used by MTI, which will also assume all of Bayan’s liabilities and a base of around 200,000 WiLL subscribers – more than MTI’s own customer base.