Pan-Caribbean telecom firm Digicel Group is reportedly involved in talks with investors to postpone the repayment of debts totalling around USD925 million that falls due in March, the Irish Times writes, citing unnamed sources. The development follows the sale of Digicel’s Pacific unit in July this year, the proceeds from which enabled the group to reduce its debt pile by more than USD1 billion; Digicel’s net debt stood at USD4.2 billion at the end of September this year. Digicel’s underlying service revenue had risen by 4% to USD465 million in the three months to end-September 2022, but the impact of foreign currency movements in some of its key markets – most notably Haiti – resulted in reported revenue remaining flat at USD446 million. Similarly, underlying EBITDA improved by 6% year-on-year to USD187 million, but reported EBITDA declined by 1% to USD175 million.
As previously reported by CommsUpdated, ratings agency Fitch downgraded its stance on the creditworthiness of Digicel and its subsidiaries, specifically calling into question Digicel’s capacity to address the USD925 million of bonds that fall due in March 2023 without resorting to a ‘coercive exchange’. Digicel’s bondholders previously wrote off USD1.6 billion of debts in mid-2020 in one such exchange.