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Cebu Pacific gets $250 million from IFC, Indigo Partners

Airport terminal cargo handlers cautiously load a shipment of vaccines to a flight-bound Cebu Pacific commercial airplane in this file photo.

Cebu Air Inc., the operator of budget carrier Cebu Pacific (CEB), has received $250 million in fresh funding from the International Finance Corp. (IFC), the IFC Emerging Asia Fund and Indigo Philippines LLC, according to a disclosure to the stock exchange.

The new funds are in the form of convertible bonds with transaction closing subject to post-signing deliverables. It is expected to be completed “over the succeeding weeks.”

A sister organization of the World Bank, the IFC is the largest global development institution focused exclusively on the private sector in developing countries.

The IFC Emerging Asia Fund is a $693-million private equity fund managed by the IFC Asset Management Co. Indigo Partners LLC is a US-based private equity firm that specializes in investing in the aviation sector. Its current airline investments include Frontier Airlines (USA), Volaris (Mexico), Wizz Air (Europe) and JetSMART (Chile).

“The number of underlying shares for the convertible bonds is 318,750,000 common shares with P38.00 conversion price,” the disclosure read.

Candice Iyog, the company’s vice president for marketing, said the new funds will help Cebu Pacific to endure the adverse effects of Covid-19.

“This will be used to strengthen Cebu Pacific’s balance sheet as we continue to weather the uncertainties brought about by the pandemic,” she said in a text message.

Cebu Pacific is currently implementing a refleeting program and is expecting the delivery of seven more planes this year. It is composed of a mix of Airbus and ATR planes.

Most of these planes will be used to replace older aircraft.

Currently, Cebu Pacific has a fleet of 74 airliners: 8 A321 neos, 25 Airbus A320s, 7 Airbus A321 ceos, 5 Airbus A320 neos, 7 Airbus A330s, 6 ATR 72-500s, and 13 ATR 72-600s.

Vaccine deliveries

The country’s leading carrier said it flew another batch of Covid-19 vaccines to Tuguegarao and Puerto Princesa on April 16. This shipment of 35,080 doses is the fourth for the province of Tuguegarao, while Puerto Princesa’s shipment with 6,400 doses, is the second one flown by CEB.

“We are happy to be able to carry more of these life-saving vaccines to ensure timely distribution across the archipelago is unhampered. Trust that Cebu Pacific will continue to guarantee these are handled well so they arrive safely and in great condition,” said Alex Reyes, President and CEO of Cebgo.

Upon receipt of vaccines at the CEB Cargo Warehouse in Manila on Friday, April 16, they were immediately kept in refrigerated containers to ensure they maintain their optimum conditions until arrival at their intended destinations.

The airline said it remains steadfast in supplementing local and national government initiatives to curb Covid-19 cases in the country. To date, Cebu Pacific has delivered approximately 264,000 doses across VisMin and some parts of Luzon. On April 14, CEB also flew 91,200 doses of Covid-19 vaccines to Tacloban, Cotabato, and Zamboanga.

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