BDO extends $350-M Del Monte loan by 2 years

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LISTED fruit canner Del Monte Pacific Limited (DMPL) said the maturity of its $350-million loan facility agreement with BDO Unibank Inc. has been extended for two years.

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In a disclosure on Tuesday, DMPL said the loan will now mature in 2019, and will be refinanced by its planned dollar-denominated equity fundraising amounting to $360 million.

The extension of the loan maturity will give ample time for DMPL to raise funds from the first dollar-denominated securities issue in the Philippines under shelf registration, which can be issued in tranches over three years.

The company said it has already secured regulatory approvals from the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE) for the $150-million initial tranche of the share sale.

However, it is still in the process of completing other requirements and conditions under the PSE’s Dollar Denominated Securities Rules (DDS Rules).

“Pursuant to the DDS Rules, DMPL is awaiting the eligible brokers’ enhancement of their systems for dollar denominated trading,” the company said.

Ed Francisco, president of BDO Capital & Investment Corp., earlier said the issuance of DMPL’s DDS will likely come about sometime in March as they are still preparing for the first DDS in the domestic capital markets.
BDO Capital was appointed lead underwriter of Del Monte’s $360-million share sale.

DMPL is a fruit canner listed on both the Singapore Exchange Limited and the PSE. It owns the leading brand Del Monte across food and beverage categories in the Philippines, Asia, Middle East and the US, as well as in India via joint venture firm FieldFresh Foods with one of India’s largest conglomerates, Bharti Enterprises.

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