24 Sep 2009 17:36

Naftogaz offers to exchange Eurobonds for new bonds maturing in 2014

KYIV. Sept 24 (Interfax) - Ukrainian national oil and gas company Naftogaz Ukrainy has offered to exchange $500-million in Eurobonds maturing on September 30, 2009 for new bonds guaranteed by the state and maturing in 2014, the company said in a notice to investors.

The new bonds would have a coupon rate of 9.5% annually compared with 8.125% on the existing issue.

One condition Naftogaz Ukrainy plans for the exchange is that holders who accept the exchange before October 8 would receive new bonds equal to 100% of their holdings. In the second phase, until October 15, holders would receive 95%.

The Eurobond holders are scheduled to meet in London on October 19, 2009.

It was reported earlier that the $1.6 billion in debt that Naftogaz is seeking to restructure includes $220 million owed to Depha Bank, $550 million owed to Credit Suisse International (CSI), and $395.2 million owed to Deutsche Bank, which are due to be repaid in 2009-2012. Taking into account the Eurobonds and interest, the overall sum due to be paid is about $1.78 billion, including about $650 million due in 2009 and about $570 million in 2010.

One group of investors holding bonds worth about $100 million, or 20% of the overall bond issue, oppose the restructuring. The group said Naftogaz has already missed the deadline for submitting proposals on restructuring under which it could have avoided a default on the Eurobonds on September 30 and also predicted that the restructuring of Naftogaz's debt is highly unlikely without government guarantees. Naftogaz must get approval from more than 75% of the bondholders to restructure the debt.

Naftogaz Ukrainy includes Ukraine's biggest oil and gas production enterprises and is the monopoly for transit and storage of natural gas and for oil transportation on Ukraine's pipeline network.