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(Trinidad Guardian) Irish-owned, Caribbean mobile phone group Digicel, is at an advanced stage of raising more than US$1 billion (€920 million) of debt to refinance borrowings that fall due over the next two years, the Irish Times reported on Saturday.

The news, which the Irish newspaper attributed to credit rating agencies, follows Digicel’s announcement in February that it would reduce its global workforce by 25 per cent over 18 months as it attempts to cut its costs and boost its earnings.

Digicel currently employs in excess of 6,500 full-time employees, which means it plans to terminate 1,625 employees.

The newspaper reported that Digicel International Finance, which owns assets across the Caribbean, is raising US$935 million in senior secured loans that are due to be repaid within the next five to seven years.

The telecommunications company is also said to be seeking to secure a US$100 million revolving credit facility.

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