JOLLIBEE Foods Corp. (JFC) said it is aiming to execute its preferred shares issuance and the buyback of its US-dollar perpetual bonds by the end of the year to cut debt.

“Once all are executed by December 2021, JFC would have fewer debt obligations, more distributed financial maturities over the next few years, lower foreign exchange risks, and better leverage and debt servicing ratios,” the company said in a statement on Monday.

The company is planning to issue P8-billion to P12-billion perpetual preferred shares by September this year, subject to the approval of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE).

With a portion of net proceeds from the preferred shares offer, JFC is looking to buy back around $250 million out of its $600-million perpetual securities issued in January last year.

“These transactions will support JFC in maintaining its capability to finance its profitable growth, which is forecasted to accelerate in the next months and years,” the company said in a statement on Monday.

Meanwhile, the company said it would apply with the SEC for the shelf registration of up to 20 million peso-denominated, cumulative, non-voting, non-participating, non-convertible, redeemable perpetual preferred shares priced at P1,000 each to total P20 billion.

JFC said these will come from the reclassification of existing authorized and unissued common shares.

The 20 billion shelf-registered perpetual preferred shares will be issued within the shelf period of up to three years from the effectivity of its registration statement. It will also apply for the listing of the perpetual preferred shares with the PSE.

JFC said its initial issuance, which is eyed for this year, will have a base offer of P8 billion with eight million preferred shares, with an oversubscription option of up to P4 billion with four million preferred shares. It may be issued in one or two series and may have step-up dividend rates if these are not redeemed on the third or fifth year anniversary of the issue date.

The restaurant giant is operating 17 brands in 33 countries through 5,815 stores worldwide.

JFC said it is eyeing to open 450 new stores in 2021. As of the end of May, the company has opened 130 new stores so far — with 107 set up abroad, while 23 were launched in the Philippines.

JFC shares at the stock exchange went down by 0.19% or 40 centavos on Monday, closing at P215.60 apiece. — Keren Concepcion G. Valmonte