Lopez Holdings


Benpres Statement on Bayantel rehab
Benpres Holdings Corporation (BHC) today disclosed that Bayan Telecommunications, Inc. (Bayantel), a subsidiary of BayanTelecommunications Holdings Corporation, received a copy of an order from the Regional Trial Court of Pasig City, Branch 158 regarding a petition for the corporate rehabilitation of the telecommunications firm.

The Court Order, among other matters, stayed enforcement of all claims and actions against Bayantel. The petition for corporate rehabilitation was filed by the Bank of New York, acting on instructions of some unsecured bondholders of Bayantel, namely: Avenue Asia Investments, L.P., Avenue Asia International, Ltd., Avenue Asia Special Situations Fund II, L.P., Avenue Asia Capital Partners, L.P., and Van Eck Global Opportunity Masterfund, Ltd.

There are inter-creditor issues that exist because of the two classes of creditors in Bayantel: secured and unsecured. The Court-supervised process is expected to resolve such issues.

The Court Order also appointed Conchita L. Manabat as rehabilitation receiver. Benpres was informed that Bayantel has yet to obtain a copy of the petition and of the rehabilitation plan.

Angel Ong, Chief Operating Officer of Benpres, Bayantels controlling shareholder believes that Bayantels rehab plan process has no impact on Benpress own debt restructuring. Ong emphasized that Benpres has assumed no cash dividend coming from Bayantel in its Balance Sheet Management Plan. He also expressed hope that Bayantel would be able to expediently complete its debt restructuring.

As announced in 2002, Benpres has also been in ongoing discussions with its creditors on a consensual restructuring plan. The Benpres official also said that the company has notified its Overall Creditors Committee on the Bayantel situation. Benpres is targeting completion of its debt restructuring talks by yearend 2003. Mr. Ong added that discussion have been in good faith and progressing. In the meantime, we continue to pay semi-annual interest payments.

Gary B. Olivar, Chief Financial Officer of Bayantel, meanwhile reassured clients, employees and other stakeholders that it is business as usual for the telecoms firm. He explained that the stay order from the Court on the payment of outstanding obligations does not cover payments and transactions done in the normal course of business such as settlement of administrative expenses including salaries and payments for goods and supplies.  

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Lopez Holdings Corporation 
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