White & Case Advises the Largest Bondholder Group in Argentina's US$64 Billion Sovereign Debt Restructuring
2 min read
Global law firm White & Case LLP has advised the Ad Hoc Argentine Bondholder Group (the Group), the largest group of the Republic of Argentina (Argentina) bondholders, in the successful restructuring of approximately US$64 billion of the country's external debt. The Group comprised major institutional investors who collectively held in excess of US$17 billion of Argentina's bonds.
The complex restructuring related to 25 series of outstanding bonds, denominated in three currencies and issued under two different indentures. After multiple rounds of negotiations over the course of several months, Argentina reached agreement on the restructuring terms and conditions with the Group and other bondholders on August 4. Argentina subsequently amended its original exchange offer and consent solicitation to reflect the agreed terms on August 17. Holders of approximately 94 percent of eligible bonds supported the amended offer, leading to 99.1 percent of all eligible bonds being restructured after giving effect to the bonds' collective action clauses.
The transaction settled on September 4, 2020, with the issuance of 12 series of new bonds with maturities ranging from 2029 to 2046, denominated in US dollars and euros. The restructuring terms provide Argentina with additional resources to help the government address the challenges the country faces, delivering significant debt relief totalling US$37 billion over the next nine years, while preserving bondholder value. In addition to the negotiated commercial terms, the Group successfully negotiated innovative enhancements to the bonds' legal framework, including to the standard-form collective actions clauses endorsed by the International Capital Markets Association.
"We were delighted to have the opportunity to advise the leading group of Argentine bondholders in this extraordinarily complex and challenging restructuring transaction," said White & Case partner Brian Pfeiffer, who co-led the transaction. "While a lengthy and at times difficult process, the agreements that were reached were the product of all parties coming together to constructively find solutions. We are pleased to have played our part in driving this restructuring transaction that is both fair to the international bondholder community and provides the country with an opportunity to forge a sustainable path towards a stronger economic future and inclusive growth in the post-COVID world."
The White & Case team that advised on the transaction included partners Brian Pfeiffer (Miami), Ian Clark (London) and Thomas MacWright (New York), and associate Dimitrios Lyratzakis (London).
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