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 Luis,...
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