From top: Denis O’Brien; Digicel’s 2020 debt yield rose to 15.4 percent from 8.5 percent, making it the ‘worst emerging markets performer this year’

It doesn’t rain but it pours.

O’Brien built his cell-phone empire, which stretches from Haiti to Papua New Guinea, on high-risk, high-yield debt. Since 2001, Digicel has accumulated about $6.5 billion of borrowings, mostly to build out networks across 31 regions.

More than two years after the company shelved a planned share sale in New York that was in part designed to pay down debt, and with recent earnings disappointing investors, bondholders want a positive catalyst. Digicel faces a $1.3 billion maturity in 2021, as well as the 2020 payment.

“We expect Digicel to address that with anticipation,” said Marie Fischer-Sabatie, an analyst at Moody’s Investors Service. “If the company doesn’t make material progress in 2018 and does not start to address the issue by the middle of this year, then we could start to see some pressure on ratings.”

Billionaire O’Brien Risks Investor Ire After Debt Yields Surge (Bloomberg)



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25 thoughts on “Unbreachable

      1. dav

        @Jake38 your emperor has no clothes!! soon the vulture funds will kick him out on his blushirtted ear..

    1. realPolithicks

      So pointing out that his businesses are not doing well is begrudgery, cop yourself on.

      1. scottser

        how he established his businesses is well worth scrutiny, if not derision. he really doesn’t deserve your loyalty.

      2. david

        Businesses doing not so well can be offset against businesses doing well in a group
        It lowers your tax liability if you are a big boy
        If not you are really screwed

    1. GiggidyGoo

      Not a good comment TBH. I’d be satisfied if, firstly, the buckos that helped him get off the ground in quick time fashion, and the buckos that gave discounts so that NAMA assets could be purchased cheap, got their come-uppance. And that anyone he’d wronged got their just outcomes. He is the product of a diseased political party -FG.

  1. anne

    So it’s all a big sewer pit of debt with the paranoid one at the helm?

    And where will the good- time- Charlies – i.e. his lawyers – be when it all comes crashing down? Sending him bills & threats is where they’ll be..

  2. johnny

    this is a link to all the failed Digital initial public offering fillings,Davy’s appears in most if not all off them.

    the fees and expenses associated or spoils to be shared among the advisors was $15,870,917.00.


    in comparison to Digi,INM is small time,the Digi IPO was expected to raise $2,284,137,920.00.

    according to todays IT,Davy was also advising INM,who’s largest shareholder controlled their appointment to the way more lucrative role as advisors to Digicel.

    Buckley continues for now as Vice Chairman.

      1. johnny

        they were on the receiving end of one the most egregious cases of deliberate neglect to come to court in Irl.this behavior shocked even battle hardened ‘masters of the universe’,what ever happened to the old rules about never ripping off widows and orphans…
        inflating a ‘valuation’ which is somewhat subjective,pales in comparison to this, a window into their culture ?

        “A “very vulnerable” young man with intellectual and other difficulties having suffered two strokes by the age of ten has been awarded €2.1m by the High Court against stockbroking firm J & E Davy over its “deliberate neglect” of him resulting in substantial investment losses.”


        1. Frilly Keane

          Yeah I know

          Wasn’t it Davy’s, on behalf of INM, that valued Newstalk at not more than 15 million
          And another crowd, who negotiated O’Dacted’s Siteserve and Topaz purchase from IBRC
          And the one Lesley Buckley allegedly supported valued Newstalk @30 ta’ 35 million

          That’s why this Davy’s connection with Digi’etc is a bit smelly t’me

  3. johnny

    not having the affidavit makes it difficult,but based on the IT piece today,it didn’t appear that anyone was overly concerned about Davy’s ‘valuation’,or its advice being a roadblock,its stated/implied that influence could and would be brought to remove any ‘issues’,by the largest shareholder !

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