(Bloomberg) -- Some bondholders in beleaguered Swedish debt collector Intrum AB have been barred from trading its notes, a sign that talks between the company and its creditors are progressing.

The company has given private information to these investors and so restricted them from buying and selling, said people familiar with the matter, who asked not to be named. The bondholders belong to a group advised by Lazard Inc. and Weil Gotshal & Manges and to another working with PJT Partners and Latham & Watkins, said the people.

The move shows the firm is bringing its creditors into efforts to manage its €5.4 billion ($5.8 billion) debt load, though it is still looking at multiple options and hasn’t picked a definite route yet, the people said. Intrum borrowed heavily in the low-interest rate era and now faces pressure from higher borrowing costs and a slowdown in its business. 

A representative for Intrum declined to comment.

Intrum’s bonds have dropped amid a downturn in market sentiment, with notes due in 2026 losing 4 cents this week to around 60 cents on the euro, according to pricing compiled by Bloomberg. The Lazard-advised group of investors mostly hold debt maturing this year and next, while those with PJT have notes across the spectrum and a focus on longer-dated ones.

Chief Executive Officer Andres Rubio told investors earlier this year that Intrum had enough funds to pay for looming maturities, though he still wasn’t planning to run the firm’s cash down to zero. In March, Intrum announced it hired Houlihan Lokey Inc. and law firm Milbank LLP to advise on its options.

Multiple Fronts

Intrum has been trying to strike an agreement before €470 million of bonds come due on July 15, the people said. At the same time, Intrum’s efforts have been complicated by the situation among bondholders.

They had already split ahead of the debt talks, with the picture then becoming more complicated as large investors left one group for another or remained outside both, the people said.

Among the options being discussed with the Lazard-advised group is a structure similar to a whole-business securitization, which would allow for its 2024 and 2025 bonds being paid down, said some of the people. Holders of those notes would be offered the opportunity to buy new debt issued out of the vehicle, they added. 

Meanwhile, the plan discussed with the other group advised by PJT and Latham & Watkins is based around dealing with debt across all maturities, said the people.

Some of Intrum’s original lenders are not waiting around for the result and have exited their exposure. In May, a €25 million chunk of its revolving credit facility changed hands at over 90 cents on the euro, according to people familiar with the deal, who spoke on the condition of anonymity. Earlier this year, two other pieces of debt previously held by the distressed desks at Citigroup Inc. and Credit Suisse also changed hands.

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