Holders of Two-Thirds of La Polar Bonds Back Debt Plan

Holders of Empresas La Polar SA series A and B bonds agreed to back a debt restructuring plan that aims to avert the department store operator’s second bankruptcy in 12 years, said Nelson Contador, a legal adviser to the company, Bloomberg Businessweek reported. All of La Polar’s creditors will vote on the plan on Nov. 7, Contador told reporters during a meeting of bondholders Friday. Debt will be divided into two parts, La Polar chairman Cesar Barros told reporters at the same meeting. One part, representing 44 percent of debt, will be repackaged into a 10- year bond with a three to four-year grace period and an 8 percent average interest rate. The rest will be wrapped into a bond with zero interest and adjusted for inflation to be paid in 2032, he said. The terms of the accord were presented by La Polar’s management to enable it to continue operating and move ahead with the sale of 120 billion pesos ($242 million) in new shares, he said. As of July 31, La Polar had total debt of 540 billion pesos ($1.1 billion), of which bonds corresponded to 262 billion pesos, according to a report that the company posted Oct. 27 on the website of Chile’s securities regulator. The agreement will allow creditors to recover a larger amount of the company’s debt than in a bankruptcy, Andres Sepulveda, a lawyer from firm Gutierrez & Silva Abogados, said in an interview Friday in Santiago. Read more.