The BU intelligentsia has been following the external debt restructure talks with a keen interest. A press release issued late last week confirmed that a deal was reached by the Government of Barbados and the Barbados External Creditor Committee. A good news story.
Unfortunately the press release does not list the finer details of the agreement. We hope the final agreement is completed without event so that the country can settle down to the enormous task ahead.
Here is the press release.
Barbados Agrees On Terms With External Creditor Committee For Restructuring Of U.S. Dollar-Denominated Commercial Debt
Bridgetown, Boston and New York:
The Government of Barbados (the “Government”) and the Barbados
External Creditor Committee (the “Committee”) jointly announced today
that they have reached an agreement in principle to exchange certain of
the Government’s U.S. dollar-denominated debt for new bonds to be
issued by Barbados. This includes Barbados’ 7.8% Fixed Rate Bonds due
2019, 7.25% Notes due 2021, 7.00% Notes due 2022, 6.625% Notes due
2035, and Floating Rate Loan with final maturity in 2019 (together, the
The agreement in principle follows extensive discussions between the
Committee and the Government. These discussions have included a
number of meetings between senior governmental officials and
representatives from the four core members of the Committee, which
includes Eaton Vance Management, Greylock Capital Management, LLC,
Teachers Advisors, LLC, and Guyana Bank for Trade and Industry
Limited. Two of the meetings were attended by Prime Minister and
Minister of Finance, the Hon. Mia Amor Mottley.
In reaching an agreement with the Government, the Committee
considered information made public by the Government regarding the
country’s current financial and economic situation. The Committee also
considered the International Monetary Fund’s program and first review of
The agreement in principle includes a reduction of 26.3% in the aggregate
sum of the original principal amount of the debt obligations and past due
and accrued interest as of 1 October 2019.
In addition, the new bonds will have the following key terms:
• A final maturity of 1 October 2029;
• Five year grace period on repayments of original principal;
• A debt management provision through October 2024;
• Equal semi-annual principal amortisations commencing in April
2025 through the remaining term of the bonds;
• A fixed annual coupon of 6.500%;
• A “natural disaster clause” that, subject to certain conditions and
input from holders of the new bonds, will enable the Government
to capitalise interest and defer principal maturities due on the new
bonds for two years in the event that Barbados is adversely affected
by an earthquake, tropical cyclone or rainfall event under its
Caribbean Catastrophe Risk Insurance Facility Segregated
Portfolio Company insurance coverage; and
• A clause providing for the reinstatement of forgiven principal and
past due and accrued interest upon the occurrence of a payment
event of default prior to the successful completion of the ongoing
International Monetary Fund program.
The amount of past due and accrued interest as of 1 October 2019 that is not to be cancelled will be treated as follows:
• US$7.5 million to be paid in cash at closing to holders participating
in the exchange (subject to the deduction of the Committee’s
unreimbursed costs and expenses below);
• US$32.5 million paid in the form of PDI bonds with a fixed annual
coupon of 6.500%, with an amortization of US$30.0 million in
October 2020, and a final maturity of February 2021; and
• Balance to be capitalised into the new bonds that will mature in
The Committee’s unreimbursed costs and expenses incurred in
connection with the negotiation and implementation of the restructuring
transaction (US$3 million) will be deducted from the cash payment made
by the Government at closing in relation to past due and accrued interest,
so that these costs and expenses are borne equally and fairly among all
It is anticipated that the new bonds due 2029 will be issued with an aggregate face value in excess of US$500 million. These bonds have been
structured with eligibility for J.P. Morgan Emerging Market Bond Index
(EMBI) inclusion in mind.
The Government expects to launch a parallel exchange offer for certain
U.S. dollar-denominated instruments issued under Barbados law in the
coming weeks, effectively completing the comprehensive restructuring of
the country’s high debt burden, which included the successful closing of
the B$11.9 billion (equivalent to US$5.95 billion) domestic debt
exchange offer in November 2018.
The agreement in principle reached by the parties, and the support of the
members of the Committee for the proposed restructuring, is conditional
on the parties reaching agreement on mutually satisfactory documentation
setting out the detailed terms of the transaction and the new bonds. The
Government and the Committee have agreed to commence work
immediately on, and to work in good faith with their respective advisers
to reach agreement on, mutually acceptable documentation and the
implementation of the proposed transaction. The Government and
Committee members have also agreed to maintain an ongoing dialogue
on economic and financial developments in Barbados following the
conclusion of the proposed transaction which may include a provision of
the new bonds to facilitate bondholder organization and good faith
interaction with Barbados.
The Committee organized in early June 2018 and currently represents
more than half of the Government’s Eligible Debt.
The Government plans to launch the invitations to holders in the coming
weeks to participate in the restructuring.
This communication is not an offer or a solicitation of offers to exchange any securities. The invitations are being made solely by the relevant invitation memoranda that will be distributed in due course. The distribution of materials relating to the invitations, and the transactions contemplated by the invitations, may be restricted by law in certain jurisdictions. If materials relating to the invitations come into your possession, you are required by the Government of Barbados to inform yourself of and to observe all of these restrictions. The materials relating to the invitations do not constitute, and may not be used in connection with, an offer or solicitation in any place where such exchange offers or solicitations are not permitted by law. The new bonds have not been and will not be registered under the U.S. Securities Act of 1933, as amended (the “Securities Act”), or the securities laws of any other jurisdiction. The new bonds will be offered in the United States only to qualified institutional buyers pursuant to Rule 144A under the Securities Act and to persons outside the United States in compliance with Regulation S under the Securities Act.