CANNED FRUITS manufacturer Del Monte Philippines, Inc. (DMPI) has received regulatory approval for its plan to issue P7.5-billion fixed-rate bonds.

The Securities and Exchange Commission approved the firm’s bond application in a meeting on Thursday, it said in a statement.

DMPI may issue up to P5 billion worth of bonds, which will have an oversubscription option of up to P2.5 billion.

The issuance will have two tranches: the first tranche consisting of bonds maturing in 2023, and the second tranche of bonds maturing in 2025.

Some P7.39 billion is expected to be netted from the offering, which DMPI will use to repay existing debt.

The bonds were given a PRS Aaa credit rating by local debt watcher  Philippine Rating Service Corp. This means the bonds are of highest quality and have minimal credit risk, and DMPI has an “extremely strong” capacity to meet its obligation.

The company tapped BDO Capital & Investment Corp., China Bank Capital Corp., First Metro Investment Corp. and RCBC Capital Corp. as joint issue managers, joint lead underwriters, and joint bookrunners for the offering.

Once the bonds are issued, they will be listed and traded on the Philippine Dealing & Exchange Corp.

Del Monte Pacific Ltd., the listed parent of DMPI, booked an attributable net loss of $3.25 million in the three months ending July, down 91% from a year ago. It expects to return to profitability by the end of its current fiscal year, which will end in April 2021, due to the increased demand for its food products during the coronavirus pandemic.

Shares in Del Monte closed at P4.65 each on Thursday, up four centavos or 0.87% from the previous session. — Denise A. Valdez