HETA: Republic of Austria’s attempt at improvement still disregards economic and legal realities
A large group of creditors who hold or control more than EUR 5 billion of gilt-edged debt securities of HETA ASSET RESOLUTION AG covered by the tender offer launched on 21 January 2016, by the Carinthian compensation payment fund, welcomes the fact that for the first time, the additional offer acknowledges the entitlement to a full repayment of the creditor’s claims.
The additional offer, which was only made shortly before the expiry of the tender offer period, still falls short of the obligation to repay in full the creditors’ claims. Under current market conditions, the repayment would not be 100% as communicated, but far below it and, due to market conditions, the market value of the zero coupon bonds could even be below the initial cash offer of 75%. Thus, the additional offer also fails to present a definite solution to the HETA problem and the securities guaranteed by the Province of Carinthia; the tender offer and the additional offer is still not acceptable for the creditors. A precedent cannot be set where creditors acquire gilt-edged and statutory guaranteed securities issued by Carinthia and subsequently – as a result of political pressure – have to waive part of their claims. The creditors have fiduciary obligations in managing the assets entrusted to them and must therefore act accordingly.
The tender offer will fail, since the Province of Carinthia refuses to accept its liability or honour its obligations. The offered amount of EUR 1.2 billion does not represent in the slightest Carinthia’s assets and economic capacity. It is unacceptable that Carinthia shows no willingness to enter into discussions or be involved in a constructive solution. The resulting delay in finding a solution has already led to additional costs in the form of default interest of more than half a billion Euros annually, which are increasing daily.
The creditors continue to show interest in a constructive solution and remain available to have fair and constructive discussions with the Republic of Austria and the Province of Carinthia.
Ecker & Partner
Rosam Change Communications
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