Regulator gives Bayan, Globe time to secure frequency-sharing plan

14 Jan 2013

Filipino telecoms regulator the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) has given Bayan Telecommunications Inc (Bayan) additional time to gain the approval of the rehabilitation court for its proposed frequency-sharing plan with Globe Telecom. The details of the extension request were contained within a letter dated 21 December 2012 from the NTC to Bayan’s legal counsel, Ariel Tubayan, and concerns the latter’s request ‘for extension of at least 60 days or until 7 March 2013 within which to comply with the condition imposed by the National Telecommunications Commission in the provisional approval of the joint use by Bayan Telecommunications Inc. and Globe Telecom Inc. of the frequencies 1750-1760MHz/1845-1855MHz assigned to Bayan.’ It is understood that Bayan had previously received the watchdog’s provisional approval (dated September 2012), on 7 November, and subsequently wrote to the NTC on 14 December to request an extension until March 2013.

According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database earlier this month, Globe Telecom completed its takeover of Lopez-controlled ailing rival Bayan after buying out the cash-strapped firm’s debt holders. The move is expected to pave the way for Globe Telecom to make a formal equity investment in Bayan. In a stock market disclosure on 26 December, Globe confirmed that 98.26% of the aggregate ‘remaining principal amount’ of Bayan’s debts – along with 100% of Bayan subsidiary Radio Communications of the Philippines Inc (RCPI) – had been tendered and not withdrawn in the tender offer for the loans on 21 December 2012. The filing read: ‘The overall ‘Acceptance Level’, as such term is defined in the offer documents, is approximately 96.17%. All such tenders have been validated and accepted for purchase by Globe’. Once the debt offer is signed off on, it intends to amend the terms of Bayan’s rehabilitation plan and begin work on drafting a long-term and sustainable path for the Lopez-led company. Bayan has been in rehabilitation since 2003 and is expected to remain so until 2023.