ACI extends debt exchange

ACI extends debt exchange

Asset Management Bonds Debt Capital Markets Corporate & Sovereign Strategy Fixed Income Funds Project & Infrastructure Finance Uruguay United States

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Uruguay's ACI Airport Sudamérica has extended the deadline until May 14 for bondholders to swap the company's 6.875% 2032 notes for $186 million in new notes, it said in a statement on Friday.

The new notes also mature in 2032, but they offer a higher coupon of 7.875% through May 2021, during which time the company could defer payments, according to ACI. After May 2021, the interest rate goes back to 6.875% per year. ACI has already said it will miss an interest payment scheduled for May 29 this year.

Bondholders with at least 80% of the outstanding 2032 notes must participate in the exchange offer for the deal to go through, ACI said. Investors will receive a premium of $10 for every $1,000 in notes tendered by the deadline, it added.

ACI had $186 million in outstanding 2032 notes at the end of March this year, according to Fitch Ratings.

Fitch has said it expects to assign the new notes a BB+ rating with a negative outlook, saying the bonds offered "the very low likliehood" of paying dividends before 2022.

Fitch downgraded ACI to BB from BBB- late last month on the expectation of a sharp decline in traffic in 2002, followed by a lengthy recovery. The rating agency has said the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on airports in Latin America could extend beyond 2022.

ACI is the sole shareholder in Cerealsur, which owns Puerta del Sur, the company that operates the Carrasco International Airport in Montevideo, the capital city of Uruguay.