- ABS-CBN bats for early redemption of bonds.
- ABS-CBN’s franchise renewal still pending in Congress.
ABS-CBN is planning an early redemption of its seven-year bonds.
In a tweet by ABS-CBN News Channel anchor Michelle Ong, ABS-CBN is reportedly intending to exercise an early redemption of its seven-year bond which will be due on February 2021.
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Redemption rate will be pegged at 101%.
“ABS-CBN intends to exercise its option for early redemption of ABS-CBN’s seven-year bonds, five years and six months from issue date, at the early redemption price of 101.0 percent,” the filing read.
ABS-CBN intends to exercise option for early redemption of ABS-CBN 7-year bonds (due Feb 2021), at early redemption rate of 101.0% @ANCALERTS
— Michelle Krystle Ong (@michelle_d_ong) June 24, 2019
The company has already notified BDO Unibank Inc. of its plan to exercise the option for early redemption. The company issued P6-billion bonds in 2014 to bankroll the construction of its sound stages, the rollout of its digital terrestrial television and the expansion of its pay-TV business SkyCable.
This comes as the Kapamilya network is venturing into other industries, signing deals with cosmetics brand Ever Bilena Cosmetics Inc., information and technology firm iBayad Online Ventures, and The Chosen Bun Inc.
ABS-CBN’s plan may have something to do with its franchise renewal that is still pending in Congress.
The Kapamilya network’s franchise will expire in March 2020.
Since 2017, President Rodrigo Duterte has threatened ABS-CBN with a non-renewal of its franchise after he accused the company of swindling.
Duterte also accused the company of not showing his paid political ads during the 2016 Presidential election campaign.
A few weeks ago, Philstar reported that Congress had frozen the bill that seeks to renew ABS-CBN’s franchise. One anonymous source was quoted to have said that they need to settle the issue with the president for the bill to pass.
“They have to thresh out and resolve their issues with the President. That’s the key to get the bill moving.”
But former lawmaker Terry Ridon was quick to clarify that a bill cannot be frozen. Non-enactment only means that the Committee on Legislative Franchise didn’t have time to deliberate on the franchise application.
“In simple terms, Congress simply did not act on the franchise renewal bill during the 17th Congress, especially with only a few weeks to go until the present term of office ends,” he said. Ridon was a former Kabataan partylist Congressman and was also a member of the House Committee on Legislative Franchises during the 16th Congress.
Surigao del Sur Representative Johnny Pimentel echoed Ridon’s statement, saying the bill’s deliberation did not proceed because it got caught up in Congress’s adjournment.
“What happened is that deliberations on the franchise were not finished because inabutan na ng adjournment of the 17th Congress,” he was quoted saying.