Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Future of mediation between gov’t and creditors uncertain

By on April 20, 2017

SAN JUAN – Only one day before the first round of mediation between creditor groups and the government of Puerto Rico ends, it is still not known whether the process will be extended until next week, Elías Sánchez, the government’s representative to the fiscal board, told CB en Español on Thursday.

“It’s a fluid process. What will happen? I cannot anticipate it. What I can say is that what the government of Puerto Rico is most interested in is that the [negotiating] process – whether mediated or not – continues,” said the attorney, reiterating that the intention of the government is still to reach consensual agreements under Chapter VI of Promesa.

Although the future is uncertain for mediation with general obligation (GO) and Sales Tax Financing Corp. (Cofina by its Spanish acronym) creditors, and 10 days before the stay on litigation expires, Sánchez assured the result will be “a consensual negotiation.”

“There will be ups and downs. Each party will use the strategy, public or private, they deem [most suitable] to try to push their agenda. But the result will be a consensual negotiation and we are convinced we will achieve it,” he said after participating in the P3 Summit in Miramar’s Convention Center.

On wednesday, a group of GO bondholders accused Sánchez and Gov. Ricardo Rosselló of respecting a mediation agreement following comments made during a private event earlier this week. A government adviser said the expressions didn’t violate the confidentiality agreements of the process taking place since last week, which is led by former bankruptcy Judge Allan Gropper.

GOs criticize comments by governor’s representative to fiscal board

“They have made their proposals public, and they are publicly responded to. That’s what the process is for,” Sánchez replied to questions about creditors’ concerns regarding the fiscal plan.

He added that, during mediation, creditors have “had the opportunity to express themselves and present their vision,” and sees as a positive sign that all parties have been able to “literally be in the same room […] in a manner that nobody feels they’re being left out, […] a process open to all.”

Replying to CB, the governor said Wednesday that the mediation process will take place until Friday, April 21, and insurers, GO bondholders and Cofina creditors were participating, as well as institutional funds that hold several types of credits.

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