(Bloomberg) -- Signs of conflict between international bondholders and China Evergrande Group are mounting in what will likely be one of the nation’s largest and most complex debt restructurings.
An ad-hoc group that includes overseas investors said in a Thursday statement that the developer has failed to substantively engage with it about restructuring efforts. The group will “seriously consider enforcement actions” in order to protect investors’ interests. Among other things, it wants to be consulted before any further assets are sold.
The statement highlights the risks for offshore investors in negotiating restructurings of Evergrande’s scale. China has taken a leading role in the effort, with government officials in Evergrande’s home province facilitating meetings between struggling developers and state-owned firms, local media have reported. The developer, saddled with $305 billion of liabilities as of mid-2021, was deemed to be in default in December after missing dollar-bond payments.
Evergrande declined to comment Thursday. It said last month the board of directors established a risk management committee, which would “actively engage with the company’s creditors to mitigate its risk.”
Evergrande Restructuring Puts Bondholders at Beijing’s Mercy
The builder’s “lack of engagement and opaque decision-making to date is contrary to well-established international standards in restructuring processes of this magnitude,” said the investor group. Kirkland & Ellis LLP and Moelis & Co. are advising the group, which said Thursday it has retained offshore law firm Harneys.
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