18 Nov 2009 13:20

RUSAL may need a few more days to finalize debt restructuring deal

MOSCOW. Nov 18 (Interfax) - United Company RUSAL (UC RUSAL) had not signed a debt restructuring deal with foreign creditors as of Tuesday, a source at one of the banks on the creditors' committee told Interfax on Tuesday evening.

"The agreement was not signed today [Tuesday]," the source said. "It most likely won't be signed tomorrow. Everyone is genuinely trying, but the result is unpredictable for now. It is difficult to say whether the agreement will be finalized before November 19 [when market officials in Hong Kong are scheduled to examine RUSAL's application for a share listing, according to unofficial information]," he said.

RUSAL owes $7.4 billion to the banks, which have extended the standstill order for the RUSAL debt a number of times. The current deadline is December 11, but RUSAL would have to reach agreement on a debt restructuring sooner than that in order to conduct an IPO this year.

"An agreement with the banks on the terms of a global restructuring already exists, but translating it into a legal document will take time. None of the creditors has put a stick in the spokes. But they need time. That is the whole story," the source said.

Asked whether the delay with signing the restructuring deal would get in the way of IPO marketing, the source said: "You'd have to ask the company whether it will go for an IPO without signing, and how the market will take that is yet another matter. The aim is for a good placement, and for that to happen investors need to be sure that all restructuring issues have been settled," he said.

A source at one of the IPO's organizing banks said that the absence of a restructuring agreement was not a legal obstacle to an IPO. "RUSAL could start a road show at any moment," the source said. It's for the company to decide whether to take those risks,' he said.