Converge ICT Solutions Inc. sealed a P5-billion loan deal with state-owned Land Bank of the Philippines to fund its nationwide fiber internet rollout.
Pampanga-based businessman and Converge CEO Dennis Anthony Uy said on Friday this would also allow the company to expand its presence in “unserved and underserved” areas in the Philippines. According to Converge, the deal involved a P3-billion term loan agreement and additional short-term lines for up to P2 billion.
“There is still huge pent-up demand for high-speed broadband connectivity in the country. And the need for quality internet services became even more critical when the pandemic happened,” Uy said in a statement.
The loan will partially fund the company’s P20-billion capital spending program for 2021. This includes an ongoing undersea internet cable project that will connect Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao, turning it into a nationwide internet provider.
Converge recently rolled out commercial services in Cebu province and did a “soft launch” in Davao City. The expansion would allow the company to meet an earlier-stated goal to cover 55 percent of households in the country by 2025, said Converge president Maria Grace Uy.
Converge’s fiber network covers about 32 percent of households in the country or 8.3 million homes passed. This means the infrastructure is ready to serve new subscribers. The company’s total residential subscribers hit 1.35 million, up 85 percent from a year ago.
In the same statement, Landbank president and CEO Cecilia Borromeo said the lender supported the company’s goal to expand internet connectivity in the country.
“In terms of inclusivity, Converge’s ‘Go Deep’ strategy to penetrate unserved and underserved areas is aligned with our own, as Landbank promotes financial inclusion by serving unbanked and underserved Filipinos,” she said.
Converge earlier said profits in the first semester of the year surged higher by 158 percent to P3.25 billion. Total revenues hit P11.78 billion, up over 80 percent.