Debt Wrangle Engulfs Ukraine’s Mriya in $1 Billion Restructuring
12 November 2014
, by Julie Miecamp (Bloomberg)http://www.bloomberg.com/news/print/2014-11-12/debt-battle-engulfs-ukraine-s-mriya-in-1-billion-restructuring.htmlExcerpt:International bondholders advised by Rothschild are recommending a change in control at Ukrainian agricultural company Mriya Agro Holding as the grower of crops from wheat to potatoes seeks to restructure about $1 billion of debt.
Tensions have increased since Mriya said in August it missed payments on some of its obligations. Rothschild
, which is representing a group of creditors including Ashmore Investment Management Ltd, T. Rowe Price Associates Inc. and CarVal Investors, said Ternopil, Ukraine-based Mriya proposed reducing its debt by about 66% when it met with stakeholders last month, while declining to provide financial statements.
“The level of trust in Mriya’s current leadership is rather low and the company’s debt structure so unsustainable that a change in control would be probably beneficial to Mriya and all its stakeholders,” Giovanni Salvetti, who co-heads Rothschild
’s Russia and Ukraine team in Moscow, said in an interview. “By asking creditors to write off two thirds of the debt, the company implicitly admits the current equity is wiped off.”
The bondholder group asked Ukrainian authorities to investigate the company’s owners and facilitate a “fair and transparent restructuring” in a public letter last month. A unit of OTP Bank Nyrt., Hungary’s largest lender, said Nov. 10 it’s taking legal steps to repossess farming equipment after Mriya stopped making lease payments and blocked officials from recovering the assets.