Unigel bondholders hire Munhoz Advogados, Cleary Gottlieb as legal advisors

Breaking News 10 July

Unigel bondholders hire Munhoz Advogados, Cleary Gottlieb as legal advisors

by Fabiola Gomes and Lucy Monteiro

An ad hoc group of holders of Unigel’s USD 530m 8.75% 2026 bonds has hired Munhoz Advogados, according to a source close and a source familiar with the matter. The group has also hired Cleary Gottlieb, according to the source close and a second source close.

Tauil & Chequer Mayer Brown has been hired by the trustee of the bonds, BNY Mellon, according to the second source close.

The ad hoc group holds more than 50% of 2026 bonds, the first source close said.

Earlier in June, the bondholder group hired Houlihan Lokey as a financial advisor. PIMCO, Neuberger Berman, BTG Pactual, Verde Asset, and Amundi are some of the large bondholders, but it is not clear who is part of the ad hoc group, as reported.

Meanwhile, negotiations between Unigel (CCC+/CCC) and domestic bondholders to obtain a waiver are turning out to be difficult, according to a second source familiar with the matter. 

The domestic bondholders are skeptical about the company’s future results and are considering if it is not better to deny the waiver, leading Unigel to a deeper restructuring process, the same source said. 

The Brazilian chemical company is taking the initial steps to refinance debt, which will likely include asking for a waiver from the domestic bondholders related to the covenant limiting net debt-to-adjusted EBITDA to 3.5x, to avoid an event of cross-default, as reported.

Unigel hired Moelis & Company to analyze financial strategies focusing on improving its capital structure, which surprised investors who considered the company was in good shape to get a waiver from its largest creditors. The company has also been advised by Felsberg Advogados, as reported.

Officials at Munhoz Advogados declined to comment on the matter. Representatives at Cleary Gottlieb, Tauil & Chequer Advogados, and BNY Mellon didn’t immediately respond to messages seeking comment on the matter.

"Unigel clarifies that it is still in the process of readjusting its financial structure in view of the challenging scenario," it said in a statement sent to Debtwire. "The company remains confident in negotiations with debenture holders and understands that negotiations are taking place in a constructive and collaborative manner."

The USD 530m 8.75% 2026 bond traded 10 July at 29.5, compared to 50 on 5 June, when the company confirmed hiring advisors, according to MarketAxess.

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