Cruzeiro Bondholders Left With "No Choice" In Buyback

Bondholders of Brazilian lender Banco Cruzeiro do Sul who stand to receive about half of their investment in a bond repurchase program are being treated in an unfair way, investors told Valor Economico newspaper on Monday. Cruzeiro do Sul was seized by Brazil's central bank on June 4 and put under the administration of privately held deposit guarantee fund FGC the same day. Under the global bond buyback plan, FGC will receive tenders until Sept. 12. The repurchase is the best solution for Cruzeiro do Sul, since it would help lower the bank's debt load and boost its allure among potential suitors, executives said last week. FGC, which offered to repurchase the bank's bonds at a 49.3 percent discount, has a mandate to find a buyer for the lender by year-end. According to Valor, law firm Bingham McCutchen held a conference call with a number of bondholders last week to draft a counterproposal to Brazil's privately held deposit guarantee fund FGC, which took over Cruzeiro in June. The buyback, which might impose $1 billion of losses among owners of the bank's global debt, is leaving bondholders with no options, Valor cited an investor as saying. Brigitte Posch, a senior emerging bond manager for Pimco, the world's largest bond fund, told Valor that "the FGC left bondholders with no choice and, in some way, owners of debt notes are not being treated equally." Calls made to Posch's Frankfurt-based office seeking comment were not immediately answered. Read more.