(Bloomberg) A group of Digicel Group Ltd. bondholders hired financial adviser Moelis to negotiate better terms for a proposed debt exchange, according to people familiar with the matter.
The group includes Ashmore Group Ltd. and holders of a majority of the targeted bonds, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the discussions are private The same creditors hired law firm Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld, people familiar with the matter said this month. The advisers are seeking to coordinate with a separate group of creditors represented by law firm Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy, the people said.
“Digicel remains in ongoing and constructive discussions with an ad hoc group of noteholders regarding the exchange offers and consent solicitations,” a representative for the company said in an emailed statement, without elaborating Representatives for Moelis, Ashmore and Milbank declined to comment on the talks. An Akin Gump official didn’t return calls and emails seeking comment.
Bondholders have balked at elements of a plan outlined by Irish billionaire Denis O’Brien’s phone carrier on Aug. 31 and quickly organized to push for better terms. Digicel asked them to exchange $2 billion of bonds due in 2020 and $1 billion of notes due in 2022 for new securities maturing two years later.
Under the plan, the latter notes would be structurally subordinated to the rest of the capital structure and could be repaid with more debt. Digicel is also seeking to remove many key covenants in the existing bonds.
An early tender deadline was extended to Sept. 28 from Sept. 14.