Lawyers in the US and Brazil have helped leading Brazilian pulp producer Aracruz Celulose negotiate the restructuring of over US$3 billion in derivative losses and bank debt, as part of its merger with rival Votorantim Celulose e Papel (VCP).
US firm Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP and Machado, Meyer, Sendacz e Opice Advogados in Brazil advised 14 of Aracruz's largest creditors, while Aracruz used White & Case LLP and Brazil's Wald e Associados Advogados. The restructuring agreement was signed on 13 May.
"This is the largest derivative-led restructuring that I'm aware of in any of the emerging markets, and certainly in Latin America, since the financial crisis began," says Cleary Gottlieb partner Richard Cooper. "It was a challenge, but all the parties adopted a pragmatic approach."
Negotiations began in November after heavy derivative losses brought about by the devaluation of the Brazilian real forced Aracruz to postpone its planned merger with VCP. That deal only resumed in January after Aracruz reached a preliminary agreement with its creditors.
The VCP deal received clearance from the European Commission last month but is still awaiting the approval of Brazil's antitrust authorities. VCP was not directly involved in the debt restructuring negotiations, although members of VCP sit on Aracruz's board of directors.
Aracruz's creditors include JPMorgan Chase, BNP Paribas, Santander, Goldman Sachs, Barclays, HSBC, Calyon and Citigroup.
Counsel to Aracruz's creditors
Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP
Partners Richard Cooper and Francesca Odell and associate Amy Shapiro
Machado, Meyer, Sendacz e Opice Advogados
Partners Nei Schilling Zelmanovits and Alexandre Laizo Clapis and associates Fernanda Rosa and Marcos de Moraes Jarne
Counsel to Aracruz Celulose
In-house counsel - Euridice Mason
White & Case LLP
Partner Donald E Baker and associate John Anderson
Wald e Associados Advogados
Partners Alexandre de Mendonça Wald, Ivo Waisberg, Andre Correia, Marici Giannico and Alexandre Naoki Nishioka and associates Renata Veloso, Leandro Amorim, Daniel Loro and Fernando Magno
(Latin Lawyer 22.05.2009)
(Notícia na Íntegra)