Dito Telecommunity Corp. has signed a $3.9-billion long-term project finance facility to bankroll its network expansion and refinance some of its debts, parent company Dito CME Holdings Corp. said on Thursday.
In a regulatory filing, Dito CME said Dito’s 15-year project finance facility will be “one of the largest long-term debt arranged and syndicated by a group of multinational banks for a Philippine corporation.”
“The proceeds will be used to extinguish short-term bridge loan facilities totaling $1.3 billion with the balance to pay contractors and fund the continuing network rollout of Dito Tel. This will further improve the quality of access and user experience as well as accelerating the take up of its FWA 5G and mobile postpaid product offerings,” the filing read.
Dito is beefing up its network to support both its mobile and fixed wireless services which Dito claims to have gained traction. As of August, Dito’s average daily activations increased by 15 percent since the government required end users to register their SIMs.
Aside from consumers and households, Dito is gunning to penetrate the enterprise segment, targeting to increase its revenue contribution to 18 percent in the next three years.
Dito has committed to spending P257 billion over a 5-year period from 2020 to build its initial network and provide users with at least 55 Mbps of speed. Part of that commitment is to also cover 84 percent of the population.
“This project finance facility represents strategic trust and confidence in the vision of the Company to be a major enabler of digital services in the Philippines,” Dito CME President Ernesto R. Alberto.
Dito recently passed its fourth technical audit, having satisfied the government with its speed and coverage commitments, recording an average broadband speed of 74.97 Mbps and 639.32 Mbps for all 4G and 5G sites, respectively, which covers 80.65 percent of the population.
For its fourth year, Dito committed to provide a minimum average broadband speed of 55 Mbps that covers 80.01 percent of the population of the Philippines.
Dito CME said last August that local and foreign investors have signified their interest to invest in the company.
“The market has been very lackluster in the last three years but at least it is coming along and things are getting better and there is a lot of interest from the investment community, particularly in this unique space of having a digital active country with a young population,” Alberto told reporters.
Dito is a consortium of Davao-based businessman Dennis Uy’s Udenna Corp. and Chinese government-owned China Telecommunications Corp.
He noted that Dito will continue to spend, as “a rule of thumb,” at least $1 billion per year, as it is playing catchup against the incumbents.