November 30, 2017 / 4:30 PM / a year ago

Venezuela creditors meet with Rotshchild, Cleary in London-sources

LONDON/NEW YORK (Reuters) - Investment bank Rothschild is participating in a Venezuelan creditors’ meeting in London on Thursday to discuss how to handle the cash-strapped country’s request to restructure some $60 billion (£44 billion) in outstanding bonds, according to two sources familiar with the matter.

Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro holds a 100,000 bolivar note as he speaks during a meeting with ministers in Caracas, Venezuela, November 1, 2017. Miraflores Palace/Handout via REUTERS

The meeting, organised by UK-based hedge fund MacroSynergy Partners, will aim to discuss a likely path forward on debt issued by the government and state-owned oil company PDVSA, as well as whether to form an informal, ad-hoc bondholder committee, according to an invitation seen by Reuters.

Among those in attendance will be lawyers from Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP, including Lee Buchheit, a partner who specializes in sovereign debt restructurings.

Rothschild, the Paris-based global advisory firm whose specialties include debt restructuring, is also participating, two sources familiar with the meeting told Reuters.

The meeting is one of the most concrete signs yet that holders of Venezuelan bonds are meeting with each other to strategise on how to handle the country’s deeply distressed bonds. The country’s debt has plunged further this month after Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro announced that he wants to restructure it.

While he has said Venezuela will keep servicing its obligations for now, bondholders ranging from hedge funds to emerging market funds are starting to lay the foundations for what could be a bitter showdown over the OPEC-member nation’s debt down the road.

Reporting By Sujata Rao and Paul KilbyEditing by Chizu Nomiyama

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