May 16, 2013
Wilk Auslander partners Jay S. Auslander and Natalie Shkolnik appear in the most recent issue of the magazine Latin Lawyer, in connection with the “Dispute of the Year” award that the magazine presented on March 19, 2013 during its annual Deal of the Year Awards ceremony. Mr. Auslander and Ms. Shkolnik represented Argentine energy company Compañía de Inversiones de Energía S.A. (“CIESA”), Petrobras Energía S.A., and others in the litigation that garnered the award.
The Latin Lawyer article, written by Marieke Breijer and titled “A Debt to Settle,” profiles the winning dispute. The following is an excerpt:
In July 2012, CIESA and its lawyers finally drew an end to years of litigation and settled with the energy company’s creditors[.] It all started during Argentina’s financial crisis of 2002, when Compañía de Inversiones de Energía (CIESA) – the parent of natural gas company Transportadora de Gas del Sur – defaulted on US$316 million of bonds due to the adverse effects of the financial crisis on public utility companies. CIESA started work on a possible debt-for-equity restructuring with its shareholders and creditors, and by 2005 was set to restructure its debt worth US$220 million with financial creditors led by Ashmore, now known as AEI. But the agreement failed to obtain the necessary approvals before the December 2008 deadline set by the parties. With no deal on the horizon, AEI – by then the sole bondholder – pulled out of the agreement.
CIESA took to the New York courts, prompting AEI to file counterclaims and file a bankruptcy petition in Argentina. In 2010, the matter escalated further when AEI added CIESA shareholder Petrobras Argentina to the New York litigation…
[I]n early 2011… AEI decided to exit the case entirely by selling its CIESA debt and claims to Pampa Energía. While AEI’s counsel continued to work on the case for Pampa, the change in claimant opened up opportunities for the parties to revisit the idea of a settlement through a restructuring agreement. Aware that it could stand to lose all of its claims as a creditor, Pampa entered into a settlement with CIESA, which was able to cancel all of its outstanding debt – drawing an end the decade-long dispute and making its financial woes a thing of the past.
Please click here for the full text of the article.