After a hard-fought battle, Philippines regulators have finally approved Globe Telecom's proposal to take control of BayanTel.
The National Telecommunications Commission has cleared Globe's proposal to convert its BayanTel debt holdings into a controlling 54% stake, the Philippine Daily Inquirerreported.
Regulators have determined that the takeover will not be detrimental to consumers – and in fact will promote competition – and will not have a negative impact on services.
Bayantel was forced to enter corporate rehabilitation in 2003 due to mounting debts. In 2012 Globe arranged to acquire nearly all of this debt, becoming one of BayanTel's main creditors.
The following year, the court overseeing BayanTel's rehabilitation approved an agreement to convert this debt into an equity holding in BayanTel. But PLDT objected to this proposal, leading to a protracted court battle with Globe.
In October last year, Globe accused PLDT of holding the Philippines telecom industry hostage by standing in the way of the merger, after PLDT succeeded in getting a court order halting the approvals process for the merger.
But with the NTC finally giving approval for the deal, Globe general counsel Froilan Castelo said the merger will “allow [Bayantel's] continued viability as a service provider, allowing it to exit rehabilitation and enhance its current service offering to the public.”