Until recently, investors
in a Mexican company could pretty much kiss their money goodbye
if it ever went bankrupt. Under Mexico's 1943 bankruptcy laws,
companies could file for bankruptcy, avoid paying their debts
and continue operating for years. All this changed in 2000,
when the country rewrote its bankruptcy code.
However, it took a landmark restructuring transaction last
year to test the new legislation. After 13 months of
negotiation with its creditors, San Luis Corp., a major auto
parts company, completed in January 2003 one of Latin America's
most successful debt restructurings. Its transparent and
consensual approach to rebuilding its balance sheet and its
swift return to financial health are a model for the region and
takes LatinFinance's prize for Corporate Restructuring
of the Year.
Neil Augustine, a partner in the global restructuring group
at investment bank Rothschild Inc., which advised San
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