White & Case advises Ukraine on consensual debt deferral

Press Release
2 min read

Global law firm White & Case LLP has advised the Ministry of Finance of Ukraine on a comprehensive liability management transaction that, among other things, defers for two years Ukraine's contractual obligation to make payments under approximately US$25 billion of its international bonds, GDP-linked warrants and sovereign-guaranteed debt obligations.

"Our work for Ukraine has continued uninterrupted and indeed intensified following Russia's invasion in February 2022," said White & Case partner Ian Clark, who led the Firm's deal team. "We have been advising the Ministry of Finance on a wide range of emergency financing facilities provided by Ukraine's bilateral and multilateral partners, and supporting our client on a variety of strategic legal matters."

The transaction, on which Rothschild acted as financial adviser to Ukraine and JP Morgan acted as consent solicitation agent, was completed by way of four separate but inter-conditional consent solicitations to holders of Ukraine's outstanding 13 series Eurobonds amounting to around US$20 billion; two series of sovereign-guaranteed bonds issued by state-owned entities Ukravtodor and Ukrenergo amounting to around US$1.5 billion; and GDP-linked warrants amounting to around US$3.2 billion. The consent solicitations were launched in late July and the consents of the requisite super-majorities under each security's terms and conditions (the 'collective action clauses') were obtained on August 10, 2022.

White & Case partner Olga Fedosova said: "Ukraine's latest liability management transaction will provide our client with more than US$6 billion of critical liquidity relief over the next two years. It received broad support from Ukraine's private investor base and was endorsed by its key international partners in the G-7 including the US, UK, Canada, Japan, France and Germany."

White & Case has advised Ukraine since 1998, when the Firm was retained to support a series of financing and liability management transactions culminating in the country's first comprehensive debt restructuring in 2000. Since then, White & Case has advised Ukraine and its most important state-owned entities on many dozens of international financing transactions.

"Over the years, Ukraine's government has turned to White & Case for support on its most strategic and sensitive financing projects, including its US$20 billion sovereign debt restructuring in 2015," said Clark.

The White & Case team that advised Ukraine, Ukravtodor and Ukrenergo on the liability management transaction, as well as on ongoing bilateral loan financing transactions with official sector creditors, included partners Ian Clark (London), Olga Fedosova (Paris) and James Hardy (London) and associates Jessica Oliver, Dimitrios Lyratzakis, Juanita Derex-Briggs, Marion Genova and Ally Hammond (all London).

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