ABS-CBN inks P4.75-B loan deal with UnionBank

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LOPEZ-LED broadcast network ABS-CBN Corp. said it has obtained a P4.75 billion loan from UnionBank to refinance a syndicated loan it took in 2010.

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The media and entertainment network disclosed to the Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE) late Friday that it has inked the P4.75 billion loan agreement with Union Bank.

Proceeds of the new loan will be used to refinance a syndicated loan ABS-CBN made in 2010 to fund its capital expenditure (capex) program.

In 2015, ABS-CBN earmarked P8.5 billion in capex to increase pay TV subscribers, build a sound stage and develop new programs.

The company posted net income of P1.9 billion in the first nine months of 2015, up 27.7 percent from the same period in 2014, driven by expansion in advertising revenue, according to ABS-CBN’s chief financial officer Aldrin M. Cerrado.

At the company’s first nine months financial briefing last year, Cerrado had stated that ABS-CBN was poised to hit a net income of P2.4 billion for 2015.

“With one quarter to go, we are confident that we will succeed in meeting our earnings guidance of P2.4 billion for 2015,” he said at the time.

The media network has not yet released its consolidated financials for 2015, but the capex guidance for 2016 is set to be released on March 18, Cerrado said.

“We will release guidance for 2016 on March 18,” Cerrado told The Manila Times in a text message.

ABS-CBN’s current projects include the building of stages for TV and film production, and the construction of additional transmission towers to expand the coverage of its Digital Terrestrial Television initiative to some cities in the Visayas and Mindanao regions.

ABS-CBN is primarily involved in television and radio broadcasting as well as in the production of television and radio programming for domestic and international audiences and other related businesses.

It produces a wide variety of entertainment programs in multiple genres and news programs that are aired on free-to-air television.

The company also operates 18 radio stations throughout the key cities of the Philippines. ABS-CBN provides news and entertainment programming for eight channels on cable TV and operates the country’s largest cable TV service provider.

It also owns the leading cinema and music production and distribution outfits in the country. It brings its content to worldwide audiences via cable, satellite, online and mobile.

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