Cebu Air, which operates as Cebu Pacific, said on Monday (10 May) in a stock exchange filing that it has successfully raised US$250 million in convertible bonds from International Finance Corporation (IFC), the IFC Emerging Asia Fund, and Indigo Philippines, an affiliate of Indigo Partners. The investment will provide CEB with a longer liquidity runway to help the company withstand the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic until economic activity and travel demand recovers. It will also help maintain trade and the competitiveness required to provide affordable transportation in an island nation where maritime transport alone cannot address the connectivity needs of people, goods, and services.
“We view Indigo, IFC, and IFC Emerging Asia Fund not only as capital providers but also long-term partners in driving improvements in the business, as well as accelerating our sustainability agenda,” said Lance Gokongwei, president and CEO of Cebu Pacific. “This will further strengthen Cebu as we recover, so we may continue fulfilling our commitment to improve the lives of people in the communities we serve for a long time to come.”
“We are delighted to partner with Cebu, a market-leading carrier and one the region’s best-performing airlines,” said Jean-Marc Arbogast, country manager for the Philippines at IFC. “Maintaining low-cost travel services is essential in an island nation like the Philippines and airlines will play a critical role in driving the country’s economic recovery. Cebu will play a leading role in that recovery, providing connectivity and jobs, preventing disruptions in supply chains, and supporting the tourism sector at a time when it’s needed most.”
IFC has been an active investor in private-sector airlines in emerging markets around the world, with 19 investments since 2000. Projects with low-cost carriers include supporting the expansion of Brazil’s GOL Airlines and helping to launch Mexico’s Volaris.