Ukraine bondholders pick PJT and Weil as advisers

A worker crosses an elevated platform at a thermal power plant, extensively damaged after a Russian missile strike, at an undisclosed location, in Ukraine, on April 12.Photographer: Andrew Kravchenko/Bloomberg

NEW YORK: A group of Ukrainian debt holders has chosen PJT Partners Inc as its financial adviser ahead of a potential restructuring, according to people familiar with the matter.

The bondholders – a large group that includes the likes of Amundi, BlackRock and Amia Capital – are beginning to organise as a freeze on bond repayments granted to Ukraine in 2022 is scheduled to end in September, said the people, who asked not to be identified discussing private information.

Ukraine’s debt chief Yuri Butsa said in January that more data points were needed in coming months to serve as the basis for discussions with eurobond holders. He said Ukraine hoped to reach a deal by September.

Weil, Gotschal & Manges LLP will act as legal adviser to the bondholders, according to people with knowledge of the matter.

Payments on the country’s US$20bil of outstanding international bonds were halted two years ago following Russia’s invasion, upon an agreement reached with bondholders.

But with the invasion in its third year, policymakers in Kyiv are struggling to keep the country’s finances in order. Russian forces have damaged major cities and key energy infrastructure, while killing thousands and displacing more than 10 million people. — Bloomberg

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